Bachelorette contestant Garrett Yrigoven has apologized for his controversial Instagram activity in a lengthy social media post.
"To those who I have hurt and offended: This is all new to me. I went on the Bachelorette for the adventure and possibility of falling in love, not fame
"I did not know what to expect once the show aired. I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my ‘likes’ on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive.
"garret_yrigs12 was my former Instagram handle and I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself.
"I am not perfect, and I will never be anywhere close, but now I will always be more informed and aware of what I am liking and supporting, not just on Instagram, but in life.
"I never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people’s lives. I did not mean any harm by any of it. My Instagram ‘likes’ were not a true reflection of me and my morals.
"Let my mistakes be a lesson for those who mindlessly double tap images, memes. and videos on any social media content that could be many things including hurtful, degrading, and dehumanizing. I do not want my social media to define who I am, and I will take better care moving forward to support all walks of life. Again, I sincerely apologize and am sorry for any hurt, damage, or offense I may have caused."
This post was originally published on May 29, 2018.
A suitor on this season of The Bachelorette may be conservative, and fans are not happy. Garrett Yrigoyen, a Reno, NV native who won the first impression rose last night, reportedly has a messy social media history. Instagram user @imwatchingyuuo shared a series of screenshots of Yrigoyen's likes, which, when taken as a group, tell a familiar story. (The account has since deactivated, but former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey shared her own screenshots of its work.) Yrigoyen has liked a number of memes espousing alt-right rhetoric, many of them sexist, racist, and homophobic. Yrigoyen has recently deleted his Instagram account and created a new one, but Refinery29 has verified that the screenshots of the "likes" from his account are real.
His account (garrett_yrigs12) liked one post from Instagram account the4thamerican accusing David Hogg, survivor of the Parkland School shooting, of being a crisis actor. It also appears to have liked a meme that refers to Trump's mythologized "wall." The meme features a photo of a soldier preparing to toss a small child. The caption: "When a kid makes it over the wall and you have to throw him back." Yet another like appears to criticize the football player Colin Kaepernick.
Yrigoyen, 29, is a medical sales rep in his home of Reno, Nevada. In his announcement dispatch, host Chris Harrison said Garrett was a "sneaky good athlete." He added that "Garrett rises to the top" during the competition because he cares about Bachelorette Becca Kufrin more than anything else. (Harrison and other Bachelorette contestants used similar words when describing last season's winner Bryan Abasolo.)
Until recently, Yrigoyen's Instagram was up and running. Previously, Refinery29 can confirm, he had the link to the S.W.O.R.D. International website in his bio. S.W.O.R.D. International is an organization committed to providing military, law enforcement, and civilians with small arms, i.e. guns. S.W.O.R.D. stands for "Special Warfare Operations Research and Development."
Kufrin has never discussed her political beliefs, but her Instagram history demonstrates that she, at the very least, harbors a dislike of Donald Trump. (She shared a photo of herself performing an obscene gesture in front of a Trump sign, which seems pretty indicative.)
Historically, The Bachelor franchise has been apolitical and glossy, even as it endures scandal after scandal. In recent years, though, The Bachelor has been treading into political waters. In 2017, on the season with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black lead, someone on the show made a loose reference to the "political climate" of the country. In general, though, the word "Trump" is verboten. (I have yet to hear it uttered on the show.) The only time it was brought up was in a New York Times profile of the spinoff show Bachelor Winter Games. In the profile, creator Mike Fleiss is clearly anti-Trump, noting that the ratings on Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette felt "Trumpish." Trump's America, he reckoned, was responsible for Lindsay's poor ratings.
So, then, is Yrigoyen the natural pivot to get ratings? See Yrigoyen's reported history, below.