Colton Underwood's The Bachelor season has not even aired yet, but the show is already mired in controversy. Fans tracked down offensive tweets from contestant Tracy Shapoff, who issued an apology the day after joining the show.
Shapoff, a 31-year-old wardrobe stylist based in Los Angeles, posted her message on Instagram Friday, acknowledging that her tweets were "extremely hurtful."
"I want to start by expressing my sincerest apologizes for the extremely hurtful words that I said many years ago,” Shapoff wrote. “I’m so sorry for those who I have offended. I am beyond mortified that I ever had those thoughts and then proceeded to express them. By no means does this reflect the person who I am today. To the people who do not know me, I am a loving, kind, thoughtful, generous, and compassionate woman. I am not mean-hearted or hurtful.”
"The people I have always surrounded myself with are very diverse and come from all over the world," she continued. "I have a huge heart and a very open mind. In the many years since writing those tweets, I have made a conscious effort not to be judgmental and to be accepting of all people. I have gone into a field of work where I am able to help women and men have positive images of themselves, their bodies, and feel beautiful in who they are. It is the most rewarding feeling being able to work in such a diverse field. It shows me the beauty in all people and I am so lucky to have this opportunity."
In the end, Shapoff said she could not "defend" her old tweets and said she hopes to "learn from my mistakes."
"I wholeheartedly regent all of those statements," Shapoff wrote. "That being said, I take full responsibility for my tweets and will use this as a learning experience. I hope that we can continue to spread love and kindness in the world."
On Thursday, ABC unveiled the list of women competing for Underwood's heart on the upcoming 23rd season of The Bachelor. A short time later, some of her tweets from the past surfaced, including one in which she blasted the show she now stars on.
"Wish these fat old women on the treadmill would shut the hell up stop dancing and just work out," she wrote in March 2010.
In a tweet from 2011, Shapoff wrote, "Wow its really cool when u goto get in a cab and some fat p— [with] veneers flips out bc he claims he haild it first... ahole."
"Do [people] really think theyre (sic) finding love on reality tv... or am I just the idiot that watches it?" she wrote in a 2009 tweet.
Some messages also included racist language. "I f— jade cab drivers like don't come to america until u learn how to speak the language and don't drive cabs if u dont know the city," she wrote in 2010.
ABC has not commented on Shapoff's offensive messages.
@laurenzima @RealitySteve @AshleySpivey found these pictures on reddit (u/PostMalort) of these tweets from Tracy Shapoff- a woman from Colton’s season… what is up with these background checks pic.twitter.com/FqIh2qyZqG— BACHELOR/ETTE FAN (@bachelorfanbase) November 20, 2018
This is not the first time the franchise has been marked by a contestant's controversial language on social media. Garrett Yrigoyen, who won Becca Kufrin's The Bachelorette season earlier this year, had to apologize after he liked Instagram posts that made fun of the transgender community and minority groups.
“To those who I have hurt and offended: This is all new to me," Yrigoyen said in his apology in May. "I went on The Bachelorette for the adventure and possibility of falling in love, not fame,” he wrote in part in an Instagram post. “I am sorry to those who I offended and I also take full responsibly for my ‘likes’ on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive. garrett_yrigs12 was my former Instagram handle and I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself.”0comments
The Bachelor premieres on Monday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC