Lee Garrett may just be another guy who didn’t sign on The Bachelorette for the “right reasons.” Garrett, a contestant on Rachel Lindsay’s season of the rose-filled ABC reality show, is under fire after screenshots of racist and sexist tweets that he allegedly posted were leaked on social media. Lee Garrett is currently one of the 31 men vying for the heart of Dallas attorney Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first-ever African-American lead on The Bachelorette, so the sexist and racist tweets are especially shocking.
According to Variety, ABC has not confirmed if the tweets, which were allegedly taken from Garrett’s private Twitter feed, are authentic. Some of Lee Garrett’s alleged tweets, which were posted in 2016 and 2016, include one that compares Black Lives Matter to a “terrorist group.” Another tweet reads: “What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? Wait for it…One has the sense of shame to cover their racist a– faces.”
Another leaked Lee Garrett tweet stated, “I don’t hate Muslims. I do hate Islam.”
Lee also reportedly asked, “When is the last time you actually saw a pretty feminist?” In another post, Garrett reportedly described Hillary Clinton as “the millennial’s version of O.J.”
ABC does extensive background checks before casting wannabes on its long-running reality dating shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The vetting process should include a thorough social media check, but an insider told Variety that the network had no knowledge of Lee Garrett’s racist tweets until they were approached by the media.
Lee Garrett is the self-described “country boy” on this season of The Bachelorette. With Rachel Lindsay at the center of the show, the mix of suitors is the most diverse ever on the ABC franchise. With just two episodes of Lindsay’s Bachelorette season already aired, Lee had not been shown as a frontrunner so far this season. But a sneak peek at the new season showed Lee Garrett clashing with several other contestants, much in the way that Chad Johnson did last season.
“I’m the only country boy in here and I’m going to have problems with some of these guys in here,” Lee says in The Bachelorette teaser. Some fans thought that remark seemed racist because a large number of Lindsay’s suitors are African American.
On his bio for ABC, Lee Garrett reflected on his most embarrassing fashion style. Lee wrote: “Hip hop type, baggy clothes in middle school. Embarrassing. Echo, FUBU, Air Force Ones? Whatttt? No.”
Lee Garrett is already being pegged as this season’s “villain” on The Bachelorette. The 30-year-old Nashville singer/songwriter started things off on the right note when he performed a song for Rachel after he got out of the limo on the premiere night meet-and-greet, but he was last seen on a group basketball date hosted by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Lee Garrett has not spoken out on the validity of the leaked tweets. In addition, ABC and Bachelorette executive producer Mike Fleiss have remained mum on the controversy. But Bachelor Nation is up in arms over Garrett, and many wonder how he ever made it on to the show.
This is not the first time The Bachelor franchise has been under for something race-related. The Mike Fleiss reality TV empire was previously threatened with a class action racial discrimination lawsuit filed by two African-American men who didn’t make it onto the show, but it was dismissed. Interestingly, the two men, Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, were from Lee Garrett’s hometown of Nashville.
Take a look at The Bachelorette teaser below to see some of the upcoming drama with Lee Garrett.
[Featured Image by David Becker/Getty Images]