The Bachelorette aired one of the most awkward dates in history—and it ended with the unlucky suitor at the center of the situation being sent home. Now, fans of the rose-filled reality show say producers exploited the rocky relationship between Dean Unglert and his father and put a negative spotlight on Dean’s dad’s conversion to the Sikh religion.
Up front, Dean Unglert was vocal about his unconventional father and their estranged relationship. Dean was nervous about taking Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay on a hometown date to Colorado, telling her his father was “eccentric” and had emotionally abandoned him after his mother died when he was 15. Before their Bachelorette reunion, Dean and his father hadn’t seen each other for two years. As they headed to his hometown, Dean told Rachel his dad was “some kind of Sikh” and revealed that his pop’s self-given name is Paramroop.
“His first name means ‘divinely beautiful,’ and it’s a self-given name, so that speaks to his character,” Dean told The Bachelorette star.
Paramroop, who became a Sikh six years ago, works with a Colorado yoga studio. According to his bio on the studio’s website, he serves as a “sewadar,” which is a volunteer working on behalf of the Sikh community, while he works toward becoming a teacher of the faith. The Sikh religion is practiced by only a fraction of one percent of the population.
Dean’s hometown date was one of the worst in Bachelorette history, but not because viewers couldn’t relate to Paramroop’s Sikh religion. Instead, the emotional baggage that Dean had been carrying for the past decade was on display for Bachelor Nation to see. When Unglert and his dad tried to talk about the death of Dean’s mother, his father shut him down in an expletive-fueled tirade.
But producers also made sure to show the “eccentric” side of Paramroop’s lifestyle, including the furniture-free Colorado cabin he shared with his second wife, the gong used for meditation, and a vegetarian meal that Dean refused to eat.
Ahead of the hometown episode, Unglert posted to Instagram to ask fans not to judge the Sikh faith. Dean made it clear that when he called his father “eccentric,” he was not referring to his religion or the turban he wears on his head.
“I’m not asking you to spare his feelings (or mine) but instead to be cognizant and accepting of the millions of people that belong to the Sikh community,” Dean wrote.
Unfortunately, some Sikhs were still offended by the episode. Outraged viewers took to Twitter to slam ABC and The Bachelorette. Other fans say producers “used” Dean Unglert and the Sikh religion, insinuating producers had Rachel keep her suitor on board for the hometowns due to his family drama, knowing full well she was sending him packing after the disastrous date.
Take a look at the video below to see Dean Unglert’s awkward hometown date on The Bachelorette.
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]