Reality TV star Colton Underwood came out last week after years of rumors about his sexual orientation. The “virgin Bachelor” made the announcement on Good Morning America and news broke shortly after that Netflix was already shooting a reality show with him about coming out and starting his life as a gay man.
Many in the LGBTQ community quickly condemned the show, bringing up allegations of abuse and stalking in a restraining order petition filed by Cassie Randolph, the “winning” contestant on the Bachelor and Underwood’s former girlfriend. Now tens of thousands of people are calling on Netflix to pull the plug on the series before it finishes taping.
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“Cassie is a victim of Colton’s abuse, and he does not deserve a platform in any way,” an online petition with over 25,000 signatures so far states. “Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative, and dangerous behavior.”
“He has sent her unsettling text messages, repeatedly called her, and placed a tracking device on her vehicle to track her whereabouts,” Randolph’s request reads. It also alleges that Underwood has lurked outside Randolph’s apartment and her family’s home to “track who was coming in and out of her apartment.”
After being confronted when the tracking device was found, Underwood allegedly confessed to stalking Randolph, including sending her text messages from an unknown phone number. He also sent them to himself so he could claim he was also being harassed, according to Randolph’s restraining order filing.
She later dismissed the restraining order and asked the police to drop the investigation.
Underwood apologized to Randolph on Good Morning America.
“I’m sorry for the pain and emotional stress I caused,” he said. “I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy will reportedly serve as Underwood’s “guide” to being gay on the Netflix show. The series was quickly derided as “opportunistic” and offensive.
Gay Twitter was not impressed by the news about the series, with one user pointing out that he’s “really not interested in watching Gus Kenworthy explain poppers to Colton Underwood.” Another shrewdly pointed out that coming out “is a helluva way to say Netflix is giving you an unscripted reality show starring you & Olympic athlete Gus Kenworthy.”
Underwood appeared on three seasons in the Bachelor franchise, starring in season 23 of The Bachelor where 30 women competed for his affection.
Netflix has so far declined to comment on the petition or the allegations against Underwood.
I'm glad that Colton Underwood finally feels comfortable coming out, but I'm not about to forget he harassed and stalked his ex-girlfriend and she had to take out a restraining order against him.
Him being gay doesn't negate his history of abusing women.
— ella dawson (@brosandprose) April 14, 2021
Ellen's coming out changed a generation. She lost everything and rebuilt her career, was mean to employees and looses a million viewers. Colton Underwood lies to women on tv courting them while in the closet, needs a restraining order, but gets a Netflix show with Gus Kenworthy.
— Joel Shoemaker (he/him) 😷 🏳️🌈 (@joel_shoe) April 16, 2021
Not to be “so above it all” but I’m genuinely having a hard time understanding why everyone is freaking out over a random hot celeb coming out who’s so generic I’ve thought he was both Colton Haynes and Gus Kenworthy today
— Josh (@jooooshlevine) April 14, 2021
Sorry Netflix but I’m really not interested in watching Gus Kenworthy explain poppers to Colton Underwood
— Eric (@eric__hahn) April 14, 2021