A contestant on the forthcoming season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” is under fire for a statement the LGBT community is calling transphobic.
While the hit series does not premiere until Monday, “The Bachelorette’s” ABC website is already loaded with full bios and Q&A’s with all 31 contestants vying for bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. Firefighter Bryce Powers has stirred up social media with his.
“What’s your biggest date fear?” a boiler plate questionnaire asks. “The chick is actually a dude,” Powers answered.
“This comment does not reflect the views of ABC, Warner Horizon or bachelorette Rachel Lindsay,” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “We have removed it from ABC.com.”
“Bryce from the Bachelorette’s biggest fear is trans women who are attempting to conceal their birth sex. I see why yer single, douche bag,” wrote “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner and performer Sharon Needles.
“Dear Bryce, on behalf of trans women I can assure you: none of us want to date your bland preppy 1980’s teen movie villain rhombus ass,” said writer Jen Richards.
ABC did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Powers has yet to address the feedback on Twitter. See more reactions at Queerty, who site a cohesive argument about what statements like Powers’ mean for the trans community.
“Careless statements like his only serve to further alienate the trans community. They continue to perpetuate our society’s popular, yet wildly incorrect assumption that trans people are simply ‘men disguised as women,” the statement said.
The perceived transphobia comes at a time of peak inclusion on the massively popular ABC franchise. In February, the “Bachelor” spinoff cast its first-ever African American bachelorette in Lindsay.
TV’s most successful dating series has long been criticized for years for its lack of diversity among both the leads and the contestants who vie for their affection.
As TheWrap reported last year, even when non-white contestants are cast, they seldom go very far. In fact, no black contestant has ever made it past Week 5 in the first 20 seasons.