After fans watched Tammy Ly navigate Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor and season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise, the reality TV personality made waves by releasing a video about the franchise playing “favorites” earlier this year.
“People think that I have this vendetta against this franchise now. I really don’t. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m grateful to have been a part of it. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in this world, but it’s the frustrations that I was having a lot of people do and they just don’t vocalize it ‘cause they’re so afraid,” the 26-year-old realtor explained on the Tuesday, April 26, episode of Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “I just had it with them and I’m very vocal and opinionated about it. I was gonna let my viewers know, like, what’s going on instead of stay quiet. I’m not a person that stays quiet, as we clearly know. And I just got really upset. Would I have done it differently all over again? Absolutely. I think I should have, you know, worked through my emotions then said something, but I was so hurt and upset at that time.”
Tammy made headlines in February as she declared via Instagram Stories, “If you’re not their favorite, and it’s very clear, you are treated like second-hand dog crap, and they don’t care about you or your value or your worth.” She told Us that her intention was to “finally put my foot down and stop being used.”
The Syracuse native, who implied that she was previously working on a project with the show, explained: “I’m not a secondary person. I’m a primary person in my life. I put myself first and it was time for me to stop catering to them. … I’m happy to just give myself some distance with the franchise for now. Who knows if I’ll be back, who knows what’s gonna happen in the future.”
She went on to compare her stance with the franchise to a “toxic relationship,” telling Us, “I just need to give myself space right now. And maybe we can work on things in the future if there are any changes that are legitimate.”
When asked about what specifically should be different, Tammy noted that the show made changes from only casting “the generic, all-American girl” after a call for diversity amid the Black Lives Matter movement, but she still doesn’t feel represented on screen.
“I wanna see it actually implemented in a serious way and not just be like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re doing this, like, it’s fine, we’re at least trying.’ But you can try harder, you have the power to try harder. … I just feel so alienated from it — I worked hard to get where I have gotten in that franchise and it just went so unnoticed. And I wonder if it would’ve been more noticed if I looked like the all-American girl,” she explained. “And listen, I get it. I gravitated toward those girls too. But like, that’s the reason why I had a major identity crisis when I was a kid because I wanna look blonde, blue-eyed — these beautiful girls that I thought were the American version of beauty.”
Tammy subsequently got emotional.
“I hate talking about it because I hate bringing up race, but it really made me feel like I was so alienated because it’s something that I can’t change about myself, you know? Like, I will never be blonde. I could dye my hair, but that would look really weird. I look like a K-pop star,” she joked. “And there’s just very few people that represent people who look like me in that franchise. And I really tried to fight hard to be that person that represents a lot of us that are out there, but it was just really hard to navigate through that. I just felt really frustrated because I put in a lot of work and it felt like it was just for nothing.”
When asked about reactions to her speaking out about her experience, Tammy told Us that she got a lot of positive feedback from fans after her video in February. More recently, she noted, “Both cast and behind-the-scenes people, I mean, they’re not happy with it, but they can understand why I’m upset.”
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For more from Tammy, listen to the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.