The Bachelor contestant Victoria Fuller issued an apology about her involvement with a “White Lives Matter” slogan one month before Cosmopolitan pulled its digital cover that was supposed to feature her and Bachelor Peter Weber.
On Jan. 4. —two days before the season began — Instagram account BachelorClues shared a photo of Fuller’s cast photo, as well as a shot from the modeling campaign, which was part of a marine conservation effort that featured the phrases “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter.”
With many commenters criticizing Fuller for her connection to the slogan, the Virginia native defended herself on the post that day and elaborated on her involvement in the campaign.
“Hello bachelor clues followers!” she began. “It would be nice for you to gather all facts before jumping to bash someone. The company ‘We Love Marlins’ is in support of catching white, blue, and black marlins & releasing them back into the wild. In regards to a sensitive topic, I come from a VERY large fishing town where Marlin tournaments are held every year! Glad to clear this up….”
However, Fuller’s explanation was not good enough for one Instagram user, who advised Fuller to apologize.
“Even if this was about marlins, it plays on the ‘white lives matter phrase which is overtly racist,” the user wrote. “You’re better off apologizing than trying to defend it. TBH without knowing you, this comes across as very inventive. You got paid to model for a company that supports confederate flag production. Apologize and cut ties with this company is my advice.”
In response, Fuller apologized for her actions. “I definitely see how this could be offensive. I apologize immensely it was never my intention to lessen this matter,” she wrote.”
Although Fuller addressed the controversy then, she has stayed quiet since Cosmo editor-in-chief Jessica Pels announced Monday that they not be releasing the digital cover that Fuller was promised after she won a Bachelor group date in Costa Rica on Monday night’s episode.
“Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand,” Pels wrote in a letter from the editor. “We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color.”
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On Tuesday, Weber, 28, defended Fuller and said he hopes viewers will form their opinion on her based on what they see on the show.
“Just being completely honest, I can’t really speak too much on it, because I don’t really know too many facts about the whole situation,” he told Build Series.
“I just recently heard about that with the cover being removed. But you know, obviously, during that moment too, I knew nothing about that. None of us did,” he explained.
“All I can speak on is the time I was able to spend with Victoria throughout this experience,” the pilot said. “And I truly enjoyed my experience with her. I really feel like she’s a good person. She’s got a lot of endearing qualities.”
“I just hope that people can form their opinion on her based on what they see between the two of us and her time on the show,” Weber said. “She’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect, but, yeah that’s all I can really say on that.”
The Bachelor airs a special two-hour episode Wednesday at (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.