Ben Higgins And Ashley Iaconetti Clarify Their Reasons For Calling Out Hannah Brown For Using The N-Word

Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti clarified their reasons for calling out former Bachelorette Hannah Brown for her use of the N-word in an Instagram live session during the June 3 episode of The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous Podcast. They discussed some of the backlash they received and explained how they feel now, according to US Weekly.

The Instagram live session in question took place in May. Brown could be heard using the N-word while attempting to remember the lyrics to the popular song by DaBaby, Rockstar. She apologized in a written statement but was criticized by social media users and fellow members of Bachelor nation who felt her apology was inadequate. Higgins and Iaconetti were among those who leveled criticism.

"Hannah says the N-word, and then Hannah disappears, doesn't say anything. Like, she's gone. And we get criticism on this podcast because we said that Hannah was wrong for what she did. That's about where we left it," Higgins recalled.

Iaconneti noted that the criticism they received "wasn't that bad but there were people out there." She clarified that while they called out Brown for her mistake, they "never insinuated canceling her."

"My hope is that we turn to forgiving, loving, accepting Hannah but recognizing what she did was wrong. What she said was wrong," Higgins continued.

He explained that Brown was wrong when she initially failed to take responsibility and tried to blame her mistake on her brother. Since the incident, Brown has seemingly been trying to right her wrongs. On May 30, Brown came out with a second apology, this time a video message that she shared on Instagram. In this video, she took full responsibility for using the derogatory term and explained that she was learning more about the topic of racism in order to avoid hurting anyone else.

Higgins commended this apology and said that he hopes others are willing to listen, too.

"I hope we can hear what Hannah says and hey, she has a lot to learn, but she's not saying she was all right," he said.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, Brown's second apology was generally well-received and was viewed more than 2 million times. In the video, Brown admitted that she had been hesitant to post it due to everything that is going on right now in the wake of the death of George Floyd. However, she said that she has learned a lot during this time and intends to do better.