Colton Underwood's New Netflix Series Sparks Backlash, Petition to Cancel

Colton Underwood may be ready to step back into the world of reality TV, but he is not receiving much support from viewers. After news surfaced that the former Bachelor contestant is reportedly set to star in a new Netflix reality series documenting his life as an openly gay man, the reported show has met with backlash and even calls for the streamer to cancel the series before it even airs.

In a Change.org petition created just after the announcement, more than 25,000 people are calling on Netflix to "Cancel Colton Underwood's Netflix Documentary." Created by someone going by "Anonymous N," the petition highlights his concerning behavior in his relationship with Cassie Randolph. The two met during The Bachelor's Season 23 run in 2019, and after calling it quits in May 2020 after more than a year of dating, Randolph was granted a restraining order against Underwood, which she later dropped.

"Colton is a former bachelor lead who stalked his final pick, Cassie Randolph. He placed a tracker on her car, sent her and her friends anonymous threatening texts, and was even seen standing outside her window extremely late in the night, resulting in her brother attempting to de-escalate the situation," the petition notes. "Cassie is a victim of Colton's abuse, and he does not deserve a platform in any way. Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative, and dangerous behavior."

Surpassing 25,500 signatures as of this posting, many seem to be on the same page, with one person commenting, "abusers do not get a sympathy tour, and women aren't just tertiary characters in a male's story arch in becoming his true self." Somebody else commented, "manipulative abusers don't deserve a platform. full stop."

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Opening up about his sexuality during an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts on April 14, Underwood opened up about his behavior towards Randolph following their split. Underwood said at the time of their relationship, he was struggling to accept his sexuality and their relationship made his struggle even "harder and more confusing" because he "loved everything about her." He went on to apologize, stating that he is "sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn't have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."

Just hours after the interview, a report from The Hollywood Reporter said Underwood was busy at work on a new reality TV series to debut on Netflix. While Netflix declined to comment on the project, THR reported the series is currently in production and already several weeks into filming. With Olympian Gus Kenworthy set to appear in the show and the series set to span multiple episodes, the show "will focus on Underwood living his life publicly as a gay man." At this time, Netflix has not officially confirmed the series and has not commented on the backlash to the report.