Leah Block apologized for her tweet about Rachel Lindsay’s season 13 of The Bachelorette after social media users called out her comments as racist. Find out more in the video above.
The Bachelor alum, who vied for Ben Higgins’ heart on season 20, made an insensitive joke about the diverse cast during the Monday, June 20, episode of the ABC dating show. “I’m sitting here watching @BacheloretteABC and my roommate just sat down on the couch and said, ‘What is this? @LoveAndHipHop_? DEAD,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Lindsay, 31, who is the first-ever black Bachelorette, shut down the remark in a tweet, replying, “Let me know if she wants to meet Lee…they sound like they would have a lot in common #ihavetimetoday.” The attorney was referring to one of her suitors Lee Garrett, who was under fire earlier this month for alleged racist tweets.
Block posted a lengthy apology note to her Facebook page on Wednesday, June 21, and promised to do better. “I come forward honestly and openly, to extend my sincere apology for the tweet from my account on Monday, June 19th regarding the current season of The Bachelorette,” she wrote. “The tweet came from a place that humored the failure of representation of minorities in reality TV and belittled the significance of Rachel’s presence on the show.”
She also owned up to her mistake. “I acknowledge that entertaining this kind of humor is a passive and careless action that stifles the progress the black community has made in television and continue to make in this industry,” she continued. “It is vitally important to prioritize these experiences and help destroy the oppressive forces that threaten minority communities. My tweet did neither of those things, and I see that as a personal failure.”
After she began to receive backlash from her original tweet on Monday, Block says she was “defensive” in her responses to concerned fans. “The attacks directed at me felt to be responses to the epidemic of injustice we have towards individuals of marginalized identities — especially the black community,” she shared. “I accept responsibility for my ignorance, and as I move forward I will engage in these issues — so I can become an informed ally who would never consider that tweet to be funny in the first place.”
She ended her note by saying there should be “no place for hate” in today’s world. “We can’t make the future better until we make ourselves better,” she concluded. “And I’m starting now.”
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