‘The Bachelorette’ Star Erich Schwer Apologizes For Blackface Photo From High School Yearbook

·2 min read

Perhaps its time for Executive Producer Mike Fleiss to employ a full-time forensic anthropologist. After The Bachelorette‘s Gabby Windey made it clear this week that Erich Schwer was the man she wanted, internet sleuths dug up a picture of the 29-year-old bachelor in Blackface from his high school yearbook.

Cue: Instagram apology from the New Jersey man who decided to go on broadcast TV to find love.

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“I wholeheartedly apologize for the insensitive photo of me in Blackface from my high school yearbook that has been circulating,” he captioned. “What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance. I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior. I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”

On Monday’s episode of The Bachelorette, Windey made it clear that Schwer was the one who would receive the final rose. It’s likely Schwer will share some more apologies during next week’s finale.

For some time, ABC has released the names of bachelors and bachelorettes early — ostensibly to help root out any skeltons before the show premieres. But apparently, it took a minute for viewers to dig up the dirt on Schwer.

It’s been a rocky road for the Bachelor franchise when it comes to race. It took 25 seasons before the show cast its first Black bachelor, Matt James. That same season, former host Chris Harrison lost his longtime gig on the show after offering “compassion” to Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell over 2018 photos that surfaced of the Season 25 contestant participating in an  plantation-themed fraternity formal. James ended up choosing Kirkconnell.

The Bachelorette season 19 finale airs Tuesday (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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