This particular season of The Bachelorette just continues to outdo itself. First, there was the whole sexist issue of having Kaitlyn and Britt compete to be the winner. Then, a booted contestant refused to apologize for making an offhand remark about rape — in fact, he thought it was "awesome." After that, a promo showed Kaitlyn Bristowe issuing a teary apology for having sex with one of her suitors before the agreed upon fantasy suite dates, and many viewers said the bachelorette had been slut-shamed. Now, another promo for what the show is calling "Brokeback Bachelor" is causing controversy. With a name like that, it's pretty obvious as to why. On a newly released trailer for Monday's episode, it's implied that two of Kaitlyn's suitors — Clint and JJ — are in love with one another. "Falling in love with a man never crossed my mind," Clint says during a confessional. "Clint and JJ are so into each other," another contestant adds. "We've grown very close in the shower," Clint goes on to say. "I'm a success story." "This Brokeback Bachelor will blow...your...MIND," the voiceover promises.
It really wouldn't be a problem if two of the contestants on any cycle of The Bachelorette, or The Bachelor, fell in love. Actually, it would be quite a refreshing change for a show so heavily entrenched in heteronormative behavior, which probably views pride parades as celebrations of the visible light spectrum. The show has a severe diversity problem, and one has to wonder which we'd see first: a non-white bachelor/bachelorette, or a non-heterosexual one? Back to the reason that JJ and Clint ARE an issue, though. According to TMZ, multiple sources have confirmed that neither man is in love with the other, and that they're both playing up this showmance for the cameras. "We're told Clint and JJ did have a bromance while trying to woo Kaitlyn Bristowe, but 'nothing gay ever happened,'" TMZ reported. "Our sources say both guys are in on the whole Brokeback thing and 'just think it's funny.'" Brokeback Mountain is a tragic story about two gay men who were in love with one another, but due to the extremely unaccepting and close-minded era and location in which they lived, could not be together. It's not a tale that should be made light of as a shameless reality show ratings ploy. Even if Clint and JJ were to come out and say that they were in a relationship, we can only hope that they wouldn't face the same persecution as characters Jack and Ennis did in Brokeback Mountain. I'm guessing that's not the case, though, given how Clint is joking about the situation on Twitter. "Before I field any ?'s about #BrokebackBachelor rumors I would like 2 just say that I am a proud, 30 yr old woman and its 2015. You monsters," he wrote two days ago. He also tried to make a joke about which character from Brokeback Mountain it was "better" to be.
Again, Brokeback Mountain was a heartbreaking tale about two men who couldn't openly share their love for one another. At the end (spoiler alert), Heath Ledger's character was left devastated and alone after Jack died, most likely the victim of gay bashing. For ABC to make light of whatever is happening between Clint and JJ on The Bachelorette by involving the tragic characters in Annie Proulx's story is upsetting, but for the two men to be faking a romantic relationship as a joke to get ratings is just a reminder of how regressive, and heteronormative the show actually is. "I love JJ, so I need the rose tonight," Clint says at the end of the "Brokeback Bachelor" promo. This would mean that on top of everything else, he's also stringing Kaitlyn along so as to remain on the show with JJ. With motives this devious, maybe the show really IS a fairy tale. ABC is owned by Disney, after all.
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