Peter Weber hopes viewers will keep an open mind about Victoria Fuller. The Bachelor himself stopped by BUILD Series Tuesday to promote this week's double-header, and naturally the conversation turned to this season's most controversial contestant.
Fuller, known as Victoria F., has become a frontrunner to win Weber's heart in recent weeks and there has been no shortage of onscreen and offscreen drama. Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Jessica Pels announced the magazine will not run a digital cover featuring Fuller, a prize the 26-year-old won on a group date during Monday's episode, due to her involvement in a "white lives matter" clothing campaign. Weber was asked to respond.
"To be completely honest, I can't really speak too much on it because I don't really know many facts about the whole situation," the pilot replied. "I just recently heard about that, about the cover being removed. Obviously, during that moment too, I knew nothing about that — none of us did."
Fuller's photoshoot was for a Marlin Lives Matter organization that focused on preventing white and blue marlin from being overfished. The ad campaign used "white lives matter” and "blue lives matter" slogans on promotional clothing items.
"In my view, the nature of the organization is neither here nor there — both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic," Pels wrote in "a letter from the editor" Monday. "Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color."
Fuller has not publicly commented on the modeling campaign.
"All I can speak on is the time I was able to spend with Victoria throughout this experience, and I truly enjoyed my experience with her. I really feel like she's a good person and she's got a lot of endearing qualities," Weber said.
"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," he continued. "She's not perfect. I'm not perfect. No one's perfect. That's all I can really say on that."
Weber called his time on The Bachelor "one of the hardest things I've ever had to do."
"I always want to see the best in people. I always want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I did that and it bit me, you know, a couple times," he explained. "But I would not change anything in that regard because it's just who I am."
The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC with a special episode airing Wednesday, Feb. 4.
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