Just days after The Bachelorette star made headlines for filming herself saying the N-word, another member of Bachelor Nation is speaking out and sharing his experience with the star.
“Listen, Hannah Brown has a massive platform. She has been very outspoken about her desire to be a role model specifically to young women out there. She has talked about it a lot. ‘When I was a young girl, this. When I was a young girl, that.’ And quite frankly, her going on Instagram Live—whether she was inebriated or not—and using that word in any context whatsoever is not being a role model,” Nick shared in an exclusive sneak peek from The Viall Files podcast. “Certainly not a good one. And she has to be held to a high standard. We all do. And it is very disappointing to see. Honestly, her initial response was disappointing.”
While Nick makes it clear that he doesn’t think Hannah is a racist, the former Bachelor star was disappointed with how she addressed the situation on Instagram.
“She has since posted a written apology on her Instagram Stories that is set to expire. As Rachel said on her Instagram Live, that doesn’t read as sincere. We don’t know whether that came from her heart or if it came from her publicist,” he shared. “The only authentic reaction right now, as it stands as this Monday morning, is what she just said on her Instagram Live. Frankly, that’s a really, really terrible apology and really insincere and it comes across as, again, ignorant to what she’s speaking on.”
Over the weekend, Hannah recorded herself singing a portion of DaBaby‘s hit tune “Rockstar.” Things took a turn, however, when The Bachelorette star was mouthing the lyrics and filmed herself saying the N-Word.
“I owe you all a major apology. There is no excuse and I will not justify what I said,” Hannah later shared on Instagram Stories. “I have read your messages and seen the hurt I have caused. I own it all. I am terribly sorry and know that whether in public or private, this language is unacceptable. I promise to do better.”
Since the controversy made news, many in Bachelor Nation have been silent or voiced their disapproval with Hannah’s actions. According to Nick, several alumni in the franchise have had “off-putting experiences” with Hannah.
“Nothing in line with what we just talked about, more in line with the typical…someone’s feeling themselves a little extra. And we’ve all been there, especially as leads, there’s always been moments where maybe we needed to be checked,” Nick explained. “But with Hannah, it seemed to be the norm. It’s like everyone you talk to in Bachelor Nation had their Hannah Brown story.”
“The reason you haven’t heard that from Bachelor people, to be totally honest, is they’re afraid of Hannah and her fans and, specifically, they are afraid of Hannah’s willingness to steer her fans’ energy in the direction of her critics. And that’s why you haven’t heard it,” he continued. “If you’re a fan of Hannah, you should not be defending this. If you are Hannah, you should go on your platform and you should tell your fans who are defending it to stop doing it. You have a responsibility and an opportunity to do that.”
“You know, it’s easy to make a statement,” Rachel said in part after speaking to Hannah privately. “It’s easy to hide behind words but when you’re bold enough to say the N-word on camera, on your platform, let me just say, when you’re bold enough to say the word on your platform…then you need to be bold enough to use your face on camera and apologize the same way you said the word.”
Ultimately, Nick said in his upcoming podcast episode that Hannah still has “a lot of good in her.” He also believes this can be a teachable moment that can be turned into a positive thing.
“I hope she embraces that and not hopes the situation goes away,” he shared. “I hope this can be a teachable moment for all of us and I hope she does that.”
Nick added, “I do think she has a kind heart. I think she can do a lot of good with her platform but she really needs to own this and she needs to truly own up to her mistakes.” Hear the full episode wherever you stream podcasts later tonight.
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