'Bachelorette' Front Runner Garrett Yrigoyen Apologizes for 'Hurtful and Offensive' Social Media Activity

Bachelorette contestant Garrett Yrigoyen is finally speaking out after his social media activity made headlines in regards to offensive posts that he had "liked."

Thursday, Yrigoyen released a lengthy statement on his new Instagram account after the one in question was deleted.

"To those who I have hurt and offended: This is all new to me. I went on the Bachelorette for the adventure and possibility of falling in love, not fame," said Yrigoyen.

"I did not know what to expect once the show aired. I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my 'likes' on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive," he continued. "garret_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. I am not perfect, and I will never be anywhere close, but now I will always be more informed and aware of what I am liking and supporting, not just on Instagram, but in life."

He added, "I never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people's lives. I did not mean any harm by any of it. My Instagram 'likes' were not a true reflection of me and my morals."

Yrigoyen, one of Becca Kufrin's suitors on season 14 of the ABC show, became the talk of Bachelor Nation after liking offensive posts on Instagram mocking the transgender community, a Parkland school shooting survivor, undocumented immigrants and more.

"I am not the negative labels people are associating me with. For those who do know me, I am a sincere, genuine, loving, light-hearted, open-minded and non-judgemental individual. I like to make new friends with anyone I meet and want everyone to find their happiness. I love to laugh often and enjoy seeing others do the same. I hope that some day you can get to know the real me and the man that I am," he wrote.

"Let my mistakes be a lesson for those who mindlessly double tap images, memes. and videos on any social media content that could be many things including hurtful, degrading, and dehumanizing. I do not want my social media to define who I am, and I will take better care moving forward to support all walks of life. Again, I sincerely apologize and am sorry for any hurt, damage, or offense I may have caused," he concluded his lengthy post.

The Bachelorette front runner, who received Kufrin's first impression rose in Monday's premiere, initially had his social media activity outed by former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey, who claimed on the Reality Steve podcast that she received the screenshots from an anonymous Instagram account.

Kufrin, who prior to the premiere confirmed she is engaged to one of her suitors, said that people shouldn't be quick to judge.

"I think I have learned so much from this journey. I met 28 guys who our ideals weren't always the same. They have different interests," Kufrin told Mario Lopez on Thursday's ON With Mario Lopez.

"They have different hobbies, different things that they believe, and that's what's been so great about getting to know these guys, because everyone has different viewpoints and that's what I loved about this journey," shared Kufrin, a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter who attended the Women's March.

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC