Colton Underwood, who starred as ABC's "The Bachelor" in 2019, publicly came out in an interview with "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. In the hours following his announcement, Underwood received an outpouring of support for accepting his sexuality, but just as much criticism for his actions with the woman he chose at the end of his season, Cassie Randolph.
Through 25 seasons of "The Bachelor," 10 have ended without a proposal, and Underwood's was one of them. In fact, Randolph wasn't one of the final two women in Underwood's season. She made it to the final three, before breaking up with him and leaving of her own accord. But, in the end, Underwood broke up with the remaining two women and asked Randolph to give him a second chance.
The two dated for more than a year after that, but eventually parted ways. In September, Randolph was granted a restraining order against Underwood, accusing Underwood of "harassing" her, planting a tracking device under her car, and going on "obsessive" walks near her parents' home. The documents in the case also said that Underwood was spotted in an alley outside Randolph's bedroom window and that she was "fearful for her safety."
So, while some hope to see Underwood return to the franchise, starring in a second season as the first gay Bachelor following today's news, others decidedly do not. "Full offense but I don't want someone who stalked and harassed his ex to the point of getting a restraining order, to be the first gay prime time bachelor," one person tweeted.
Full offense but I don’t want someone who stalked and harassed his ex to the point of getting a restraining order, to be the first gay prime time bachelor
— Kyle | BLM (@kyle_deleted) April 14, 2021
And he's not alone. Shortly after Underwood's interview, "Cassie" began trending on Twitter, as people voiced their thoughts on Underwood's most recent relationship and the actions he took.
Brett S. Vergara, who works on the Bachelor Diversity Campaign, a team created in June striving for anti-racism in the "Bachelor" franchise, tweeted his support for Underwood's decision to come out, but still took the moment to criticize his past choices.
"First, I'm glad to see Colton more at peace and happy he can live more as his true authentic self. I'll always be in support of that," Vergara posted as part of a thread. "That doesn't excuse the abusive, manipulative, and literally illegal stalking behavior he displayed in his past relationship."
First, I'm glad to see Colton more at peace and happy he can live more as his true authentic self. I'll always be in support of that.
That doesn't excuse the abusive, manipulative, and literally illegal stalking behavior he displayed in his past relationship.
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) April 14, 2021
this is exactly how I feel re: Colton. Two truths can be held simultaneously. Context matters. https://t.co/sgNeGiQEPT
— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) April 14, 2021
Colton Underwood stalked Cassie Randolph for months, put a tracking device on her car, stood outside her apt at 2 am, and sent harassing text messages to her, her family, & her friends (according to her restraining order filing). That’s not being in love and making bad choices.
— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) April 14, 2021
You can read more reactions to Underwood's past below.
Hang on isn’t Colton Underwood the guy who harassed and stalked his girlfriend and put a tracking device on her car? Why does he get an exclusive interview on Good Morning America
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) April 14, 2021
colton, the devout christian bachelor star who went on to stalk and harass his ex girlfriend, has come out as gay
i hope people can look at situations like this with nuance, empathy, and realize that trauma can complicate — but not justify — a person’s shitty behavior
— matt (@mattxiv) April 14, 2021
Colton Underwood is a manipulative, abusive stalker. He also follows Morgan Wallen on Instagram. And he’s SO BORING. Glad he’s able to accept who he is but I also don’t care because he sucks and it’s annoying seeing so many gays thirst over him since he’s white and has abs.
— Andy Herren (@AndyHerren) April 14, 2021
Colton's vague apology for causing "any pain and emotional stress" didn't address whether he's made amends for his behavior or if he's taken concrete steps to make sure he doesn't do it again.
— Michael Slezak (@MichaelSlezakTV) April 14, 2021
Colton’s gay! Cool! Now is he gonna explain the stalker stuff with Cassie bc that was super weird! https://t.co/2rLi1qH0JE
— Kelly Keegs (@kellykeegs) April 14, 2021