Bachelor Nation fans with an internet connection continue to prove they’re better at combing through contestants’ social media accounts than the casting producers, as a couple of frontrunners from Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette have come under fire for past offensive tweets. One of those men, Justin Glaze, has now spoken out.
Justin Glaze went on the reality franchise’s official podcast, Bachelor Happy Hour, to apologize for his hurtful comments. Podcast hosts Becca Kufrin and Tayshia Adams, who is also serving as The Bachelorette co-host during Katie Thurston’s quest for love, welcomed the 27-year-old painter onto the show to give him a chance to speak on his past mistakes, namely insensitive comments about the LGBT community. Glaze apologized for the posts, saying when he was a teenager he felt the need to “keep up with what my peers were doing and saying," and noted:
As I reflect on everything that I just went through … one of the biggest takeaways for me was just my personal growth, and one of those things is being able to hold myself accountable, which is something that historically I wasn't able to do. And so, I have no issue with owning up and apologizing from the bottom of my heart for the really hurtful words that I used back in 2009 and 2011. The last thing I want to do is run from it. That’s not who I am.
Justin Glaze talked about the volunteer work he’s done with community organizations that provide services for the LGBT community, including diversity inclusion in the workplace. And, he said even though the tweets in question are over a decade old, Justin said his age or the amount of time that has passed doesn’t absolve him.
The last thing I want is for people to defend me and say, ‘Oh, it was ten, twelve years ago, it’s different.’ What I said was ignorant and hurtful then, it's ignorant and hurtful now. I don’t care if it’s five, ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, no matter how long ago it was, those words shouldn't have come out of my mouth.
The Bachelor franchise has found itself in hot water regarding its contestants’ social media behavior numerous times in recent years. After James Taylor, a contestant on Jojo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, attended the Capitol riot on January 6, he falsely claimed he had the support of ABC and the Bachelor family. Producer Mike Fleiss responded that the “idiot/jerkoff” was exiled from Bachelor Nation.
Matt James’ season of The Bachelor was mired in controversy after photos emerged of winner Rachael Kirkconnell at an Antebellum-themed sorority party, as well as other insensitive social media posts. The situation led to longtime host Chris Harrison’s firing after he clumsily defended Kirkconnell in an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black lead. James and Kirkconnell have reunited after breaking up in the aftermath of the controversy, while the Bachelor franchise has moved on from Harrison, recruiting multiple guest hosts to lead its shows.
Bachelor Happy Hour host Becca Kufrin herself dealt first-hand with similar controversy, after she got engaged to Garrett Yrigoyen on her season of The Bachelorette. During filming, Yrigoyen’s troublesome past came to light, revealing that he had repeatedly “liked” offensive social media posts. The couple worked through that situation, but broke up after Yrigoyen again came under fire for comments about protests following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others.
As disheartening as it is to continue seeing this kind of behavior from contestants on the Bachelor shows, I hope Justin Glaze really has changed and continues “to put the work in,” as he said on the podcast, calling the situation a wake-up call. If you want to see how Katie Thurston’s journey to love turns out, you can catch The Bachelorette at 8 p.m. EST, Mondays on ABC. And, be sure to check out our 2021 Summer TV schedule so you don’t miss any of your favorite shows.