James is addressing a specific incident that surfaced on January 25, when a friend of his made a gross comment about Victoria Larson, the villain of his season. In an Instagram video shared by Bachelornation.Scoop, the reality star is seen playing golf with his friends, including former Bachelorette contestant Tyler Cameron. As James gets ready for his turn, his friend (named Jerry) tries to distract him and make him miss by saying, "Now how was Victoria's body? 'Cause when I look at her, it doesn't look very nice … and you've been making out with this woman."
The fact that James' friend felt comfortable enough to make such a misogynistic comment and let the comment slide raised a lot of eyebrows around the internet.
"It's just a constant reminder that you need to be smart about the people you surround yourself with," he said. "And those moments when you're in sports and people are trying to say things to you to throw things off your game, it's sad that someone would think saying something like that about a woman that I was dating would deter me from what I was trying to do.
"Who is he to comment on someone's body?" he continued. "It's such a low blow for any man to try and take a dig at something like that. That's not my character and that's not what I'm about. It's a shame that that's even associated with what was going on. I apologize on his behalf. I don't know if you'll get it from him, but that's not something I support or stand for."
Let's be clear: Body shaming of any kind is unacceptable. Period. Larson has also exhibited really toxic and sickening behavior. Period. Both can be true at the same time. Just because someone is a villain-type doesn't mean they should be body shamed. But just because this happened to Larson and she "clapped back" doesn't mean she still isn't above reproach. Remember when she was pictured with what really really seems like a Trump flag? Or how about her sex negativity around vibrators, her constant slut shaming of other contestants and hostility towards women of color, or, I don't know — when she invaded the space of a Latinx woman she just met and literally ripped a crown off of her head?
What was said about her was totally uncalled for, but there's no need to make her a queen again.