"The Bachelorette” doesn’t officially kick off its 13th season until Monday night, but one of the 31 men vying for Rachel Lindsay’s love has already started off on the wrong foot.
ABC posted contestants’ bios to its website this week, and Bryce, a 30-year-old firefighter, has been criticized for how he responded to a certain question: What’s your biggest date fear?”
“The chick is actually a dude,” Bryce responded, per The Wrap.
The contestant invited swift backlash from the LGBTQ community, including comments from “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” alum Sharon Needles and transgender actress Jen Richards.
ABC provided The Wrap with a statement denouncing Bryce’s answer. “This comment does not reflect the views of ABC, Warner Horizon or bachelorette Rachel Lindsay,” a representative stated. The network promptly removed the line from its website.
As Refinery29 points out, Bryce wasn’t the only contestant to display uninformed views about transgender people. Lucas, a man who lists his occupation as “whaboom,” stated that if he could have lunch with any one person, dead or alive, he’d choose Bruce Jenner (”dead”) and Caitlyn Jenner (”alive”).
“Would be a very interesting convo,” Lucas said.
“Lucas is fetishizing the experience of a trans woman,” Refinery29’s R.A. Farley wrote. “I’d like to think that Lucas wants to talk to Caitlyn Jenner in an effort to understand the trans experience. But I can’t help but think that’s not the case.”
Those missteps aside, Season 13 of “The Bachelorette” has been praised for being the series’ most progressive yet, with a black bachelorette and a more diverse set of contestants than ever before. The series returns to ABC Monday at 9 p.m. ET.