This week’s Bachelor episode doubled as a budget version of Mean Girls, when new contestant Brittany Galvin was baselessly accused by Anna Redman of being an escort who “entertains men for money” in the Chicago nightlife scene. Redman, a fellow denizen of the city, gleefully told several women about what she believed to be a great piece of gossip, which she said was brought to her attention by people “going out of their way” to send her messages about Galvin on social media — even though Redman stated earlier in the episode that “I don’t even know her.” Galvin denied the claims when confronted by Redman and a snickering group of meanies during a group date, but the damage was already done: If true, it outed a sex worker and jeopardized her safety on national television, and if not, it was a lie that further stigmatized and shamed an industry that’s already plagued by an astounding amount of policing.
In a series of Instagram Stories posted on Wednesday, Galvin, a working model, reiterated that the escort claims are false. She also voiced her support for sex workers, who are increasingly becoming more celebrated in the cultural Zeitgeist thanks to various social-media platforms. “It’s 2021, you know how prominent sex workers are in this world? Or how many people have OnlyFans? Why are we still judging others,” she wrote. “Jealousy and hate really come out when others are doing better in life, but why? Focus on yourself, and if you’re not happy with where you’re on then work on yourself. Again, to make it clear I am not an escort. And for the people who are, don’t let others tear you down. Keep sharing your stories with me because they are all so powerful. I’m here to support you like how you have to me!”
Galvin added that she felt it was important to respond to the claims a second time, due to the unique circumstance of appearing on The Bachelor. “If this happened to me in the real world I’d brush it off because I know my truth. But how would you react when someone tries to exploit you to the world with an accusation that could affect your career, reputation and future relationships,” she explained. “Yes it was a shitty thing to do, but let’s not destroy someone’s life over it. Bringing others down is exactly what I don’t want. We are bigger and better than that.” At the conclusion of the Monday’s episode, fan-favorite contestant Katie Thurston, upset about the women’s repeated instances of bullying, took her concerns to Matt James himself. What he does after the cliffhanger should be interesting to watch unfold.