Ahead of the rumored double-lead Bachelorette season with Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams, as well as Matt James becoming the very first Black Bachelor in 2021, the franchise’s producers are warning fans in an unprecedented statement that hate speech won’t be tolerated. Posting to their official Instagram account, producers urged viewers to “spread support and positivity” while commenting on Bachelor Nation social-media pages, and if that simple rule isn’t followed, it could result in an immediate, and permanent, block. “We aim to show love in all its forms and invite you along for the ride. We encourage you to have fun and share the love in the comments of our posts and the posts of our cast members,” the statement says. “However, we condemn racism, bullying, and hate in all of its forms and have introduced new community guidelines for interacting on our posts. We will be deleting comments which are abusive toward our cast members, and reserve the right to block users who display this behavior.”
The Bachelor Nation community guidelines now stipulate that comments containing “obscene language, insults, threats, or harassment” will be deleted, as well as anything that is “hateful, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, sexually explicit, or vulgar” in nature. If a user continues to break these guidelines, they will be permanently blocked from the pages.
This push against toxic fandom comes months after Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette, led a segment about social-media harassment during the finale of Peter Weber’s Bachelor season. Lindsay and other contestants of color tearfully read aloud comments sent to them by racist social-media trolls, many of which had to be bleeped out by ABC’s censors due to their content. “When I was asked to be the Bachelorette, I knew it would be hard. I knew that I would get even more hate and criticism,” Lindsay said at the time. “But I wanted to pave a way for women who look like me who hadn’t been represented in this role on this show.”