On Thursday night, Bachelor Colton Underwood was apparently touched "inappropriately" by a fan at a San Diego event for his charity Legacy Foundation. In a statement posted to his Instagram story, Underwood explained that he left the event early after an unidentified person crossed a boundary during a meet-and-greet.
"I’m sorry if you didn’t get a picture at the event last night, but at one point during the event I was grabbed and touched inappropriately while people were throwing cameras in my face," Underwood wrote in the note.
He added that he is the type of Bachelor to stay until every person gets a photo — this was unique situation. He continued, "“I didn’t sign up to be a piece of meat or a zoo animal. I hope we run into each other at another event or on the street and I can take the time to say hello."
Celebrities have always faced harassment by fans, and Bachelor-adjacent celebrities are uniquely unequipped to handle the level of attention they get. Justin Bieber has had fans throw water bottles at him on stage. Taylor Swift was famously sued by a DJ after he allegedly groped her at a photo opportunity. The Dolan twins had their clothes stolen at a beach. Penn Badgley once said that he felt "molested" by Gossip Girl fans. Later, Badgley told Refinery29, "I was speaking about the way emotional and physical boundaries are violated for someone in the public eye, who is seen as an object of desire...These are the same norms which support predatory men, but not exclusively predatory men. They affect, and infect, us all."
Badgley's statement nicely applies here, too: The norms which allow for women (like Swift) to be groped allow for the same to happen to men, and they infect us all.
ABC did not immediately reply to Refinery29's request for comment.