The “Men Tell All” episode of The Bachelorette is as good a time as any to bring up old animosities and attempt to make amends. So when the men of Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette reunited Monday night, the season’s villain, Lee, rightfully came under fire for race-baiting black contestants and using language coded with hostility to rile Kenny. Host Chris Harrison brought up Lee’s history of sharing racist and misogynistic tweets (like this one, from 2016: “What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? One has a sense of shame to cover their racist ass faces”), and the men lectured him on his views.
Lee tried to excuse himself with a blanket apology: “There are things that I can learn. There are things that a lot of people can learn,” he said. “You know, if I hurt anybody in any kind of way with a bad joke or anything like that, I apologize.” When Anthony asked him if he was motivated by implicit bias, Lee complimented him for being well-spoken, a coded slight in and of itself.
By the end of Lee’s questioning, Kenny agreed to hug it out with his tormenter for most of the season. “The way is forward,” Kenny said. Chris Harrison let Lee give his final statement: “Even with doubt,” Lee said, “you guys are reaching out to help.” And just like that, The Bachelorette lets one contestant’s season of race-baiting off the hook.