Former ‘Bachelor’ contestant Greer Blitzer apologizes for defending racist blackface

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Season 27 contestant Blitzer of “The Bachelor” has apologized again for defending blackface. (Craig Sjodin / ABC via Getty Images)

Blitzer, a contestant on the latest season of “The Bachelor,” made a second apology for defending a former classmate who wore a racist blackface costume to a Halloween party. This time, the apology was in front of a live studio audience.

In a screenshot of deleted tweets in October during the filming of the 27th season of the ABC reality show, which already had a troubled history of racism surfaced on reddit It showed Blitzer coming to the rescue of his friend. she had a friend at the time Sophomore year at Lamar High School in Houston where Blitzer, who was then 18, participated. In tweets, she dismissed the blackface costume as “dumb but not racist” and that “it was not an intentional racist act.”

Shortly after the season’s first episode aired in January, issued her first apology in her Instagram story, writing, “In my past, I made some uneducated, ignorant, and plainly wrong comments on my accounts. Specifically, in 2016, I used fallacious arguments on Twitter to defend a student who dressed in blackface as Tupac for Halloween.”

The 24-year-old continued, “I am deeply sorry to those people, especially those in the black community, not because these screenshots have resurfaced, but because I have always shared those hurtful views. ” There was no excuse for his actions.

Greer, originally from the Houston area, made a strong first impression on “The Bachelor” star Zack Shallcross. However, Shallcross ultimately decided not to give a rose for a hometown date, which sent Greer home.

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He was once again confronted about the issue during Tuesday’s episode, in which the eliminated contestants sat down with the show’s host, Jesse Palmer, for a brief interview in front of a live audience.

Palmer acknowledged the show’s history of racist incidents, acknowledging that “as a franchise, we’ve done a very poor job of addressing serious topics in the past.”

“I want to address it. I don’t want to sweep it under the rug,” Blitzer began. “I failed to mention in my apology that what happened was racist. It’s not about intent, it’s about effect. And it’s my acknowledgment that I knew performing blackface was racist, my defending it was racist, my ignorance was racist, and I’m deeply ashamed. I’m deeply sorry that I hurt the black community.”

She said she was educating herself on the history of blackface. Earlier, Blitzer had met with Kira Banks, professor of psychology at Saint Louis University and expert on diversity, equity and inclusion who was in the audience for the episode.

“I think it’s important to name and give a voice when racism comes to the fore,” Banks said. “The reality is we can’t get out of racism. We can say the right thing, but what are we going to do, what actions are we going to take? Ready to understand the history behind the actions and make a difference Educate yourself to be.”

Fellow Season 27 contestant Alyssa Jacobs, who is Black, said “it was hurtful to hear and see the things” said on Twitter, according to people, But she said she “respects” that Greer “always faced it.”

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For years, Black fans of the show have called it out its lack of diversity between competitors and leads. It wasn’t until after the killing of George Floyd in 2020 and an online campaign ABC producers cast Matt James as the first black lead on “The Bachelor.”

The then- Chris Harrison made a controversial statement, even at the time, overshadowed by racism. “Extra” Interview The first Black Bachelorette, with Rachel Lindsay, in which he defended season 25 contestant Rachel Kirkconnell for attending a fraternity party with an antebellum South theme in 2018, a period when slavery was legal in Southern states.

After the interview, Harrison quickly apologized but in the end abandoned series After 19 years of hosting the franchise that includes “The Bachelorette.”

In 2020, Lindsay threatened to cut ties with the franchise if it did not commit to more diversity. She called for hiring more diverse producers, refraining from “creating problematic storylines” for people of color and finding clues that have experience with interracial dating.

During Lindsay’s “Bachelorette” season, fans attacked her online with racial slurs.

Then, Racist tweets from a contestant from that season, Lee Garrett, were revealed online. Garrett referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as “the one”.terrorist group” And in another tweetasked, “What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? Wait for it… covering your racist face is a shame.”

And last fall, “Bachelorette” season 19 contestant Erich Schwaer was kicked out for another blackface incident. Posted by a Reddit user A high school yearbook photo of Schwer dressed as Jimi Hendrix with his face painted black. Schwerer won the season and became engaged to Gabi Windie.

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Both men have since apologised.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,