To think that Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette season was initially set to premiere today, but alas, we’re dealing with this unpleasant mess by people who should know better instead. Over the weekend, former Bachelorette lead Hannah Brown recorded an Instagram Live video singing the N-word, which occurred when she and an off-screen friend were trying to remember the lyrics of DaBaby’s hit song “Rockstar.” The video, which can be viewed here, was first met with an uninspired attempt at an apology from Brown on Saturday night, where she tried to blame her brother, as opposed to herself, as the one who sung the word. “I don’t think I said it,” she said with a giggle. “Maybe I didn’t. No, I was singing … I’m so sorry.” With backlash rapidly spreading, Brown issued a “major apology” on Sunday afternoon. “I have read your messages and seen the hurt I have caused,” she said on Instagram Stories. “I own it all. I am terribly sorry and know that whether in public or private, this language is unacceptable. I promise to do better.” She has not issued another statement.
Several prominent Bachelor Nation figures have weighed in on Brown’s language. Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s only black lead who has been critical of the show in the past, recorded a lengthy Instagram Live video to assert that “you can’t give [white] people a pass” for using the slur. She also noted that Brown was conscious not to use “fuck” while remembering the lyrics, yet punctuated the N-word with a hard -’er sound. “I hate that I have to do this. I never wanted to speak on this,” Lindsay said. “I never wanted to say anything. I’m honestly tired of feeling like I have to be the one to speak because other people won’t.” She also said that she personally reached out to Brown to educate her on the word, but Brown was unresponsive.
“I thought, ‘Let me challenge this person to use their platform,’ because last night it was used in a different way, so let me challenge them to use it in a better way, right?” Lindsay explained. “Maybe it was a mistake, maybe they didn’t realize the intention behind it, so let me give them the opportunity to now correct that mistake.” While she didn’t “discredit” Brown’s apology, Lindsay added that it shouldn’t have taken the form of a short note: “It’s easy to hide behind words, but when you’re bold enough to say the N-word on camera, on your platform … then you need to be bold enough to use your face on camera and apologize in the same way that you said the word.”
Other people within the franchise to weigh in about the slur included Tyler Cameron, Bekah Martinez, Katie Morton, Sydney Hightower, Nick Viall, and Alayah Benavidez. Cameron, who was Brown’s Bachelorette runner-up, says that we “should lift” her “up” from this controversy and also praised Lindsay’s video. “She is learning and growing just like every single one of us. Love rids hate,” he wrote about Brown. “Hate only makes more hate. Let’s learn and lift each other up with love.” Mike Johnson, one of the few black contestants on Brown’s season, was far more blunt: “She shouldn’t have said the N-word, it’s pretty damn simple to me.”