Too late to say sorry? Bachelor contestant Victoria Fuller apologized after she came under fire for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt for a fishing campaign before appearing on the show.
On the Monday, February 3, episode of the reality dating series, Fuller, 26, won a chance to appear on a digital cover of Cosmopolitan with Peter Weber. However, the magazine announced on Monday that it would not be running the cover based on Fuller’s past clothing choice, which she wore in opposition to marlin overfishing.
What many fans likely don’t know is that the contestant actually addressed the controversial marlin campaign shoot a month ago via Instagram.
“Hello bachelor clues & followers! It would be nice for you to gather all the facts before jumping to bash someone,” Fuller wrote in the comments on a post shared by Instagram user Bachelor Clues on January 3, that showed her bio and past photo shoot. “The company ‘We Love Marlins’ is in support of catching white, blue, & black marlins & releasing them back into the wild.”
She added: “In regards to a sensitive topic, I come from a very diverse background & am in support of all races! Virginia Beach is a VERY large fishing town where Marlin tournaments are held every year! Glad to clear this up.”
After another Instagram user commented, “regardless of the fishing connection it’s really racist,” Fuller again wrote back explaining herself. “I’m sorry if you or anyone else’s feelings were hurt. That was never my intention,” she replied.
The Virginia Beach native added: “I definitely see how this could be offensive. I apologize immensely it was never my intention to lessen this matter.”
Even though the campaign was for Marlin Lives Matter, the messaging on the shirt and its association with racism was too much for Cosmopolitan to overlook, which resulted in Fuller’s cover not being promoted on the magazine’s site.
Cosmopolitan’s editor in chief Jessica Pels wrote on Monday that “Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color.”
Weber, 28, addressed Fuller’s controversy during an interview on Tuesday, February 4.
“I can’t speak too much on it, because I don’t know many facts about the whole situation,” the pilot said during a BUILD series interview. “Obviously during that moment too, I knew nothing about that, none of us did.”
The reality TV star did speak to Fuller’s character and hoped that fans wouldn’t rush to judgment.
“All I can speak on is the time I was able to spend with Victoria throughout this experience. I truly enjoyed my experience with her,” he said. “I really feel like she’s a good person and she’s got a lot of endearing qualities. I just hope that people can form their opinion on her based on what they see between the two of us and her time on the show. She’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect.”
The medical sales rep previously made headlines this season after it was revealed that she dated country singer Chase Rice, who performed during her one-on-one date with Weber that aired in January.
Rice, 34, later claimed that he and Fuller only “spent a night together” but he was “really pissed off” at the producers for the way his appearance on the show went down.
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