Entertainment

Garrett’s social media activity is just ‘a small sampling’ of who he is, Becca says

Becca Kufrin is standing by her man.

Not that we expected anything different, but in the wake of Monday night’s Twitter outrage over her choice of Garrett Yrigoyen over Blake Horstmann in the Bachelorette finale, she was urging annoyed fans to respect her choice in a conference call with media.

Asked how she felt about the reaction, she said she and Garrett had been too busy doing press to read anything online, but “I can only hope that people support my decision because, at the end of the day, I have to follow my heart.”

Well, yes, point taken. But this situation is a wee bit more complicated than last Bachelorette season when fans were so taken with runner-up Peter Kraus and so convinced that Rachel Lindsay loved him more than winner Bryan Abasolo that they criticized Rachel for getting engaged to Bryan (more on that later).

That’s because Garrett, a 29-year-old medical sales rep from Reno, Nev., has been at the centre of a controversy since early in the season.

Garrett was outed in May for liking Instagram posts that mocked liberal women, transgender people, immigrants and Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg; likes that many fans believed were antithetical to Becca’s own values.

And though he apologized at the time “to those who I have hurt and offended,” the controversy lingered and tainted Monday’s finale, in which Garrett proposed to Kufrin on a beach in the Maldives.

Many fans took to Twitter to express disappointment and anger over Becca’s choice.

Ashley Spivey, the former Bachelor contestant who outed Garrett, wrote: “Apologies are just words until people put in the work. I’m still not convinced he knows why those memes are so hurtful.”

The controversy followed the happy couple into Tuesday morning’s conference call. More than a third of the questions were about the Instagram likes.

Becca said Garrett’s social media activity was “just a small sampling” of who he is. “I got to know him aside from social media and I got to know who he truly is as a person,” she said.

On the live portion of Monday’s finale, Garrett said that he “didn’t stand behind those likes and I was a better person than I was presenting on my social media.”

But reporters on Tuesday’s call weren’t taking that at face value. When Garrett deflected a question about the post he liked that mocked David Hogg as a “crisis actor” by saying he was “trying to grow and be a better person,” the reporter persisted: “Does that mean you don’t believe David Hogg is a crisis actor?”

“No, I don’t believe David Hogg is a crisis actor,” Garrett replied.

Another reporter asked for an example of how Garrett was growing.

“I’m starting to read the posts now and going from there, whereas before I would just scroll through and double tap the image,” Garrett replied.

How did Garrett feel about transgender people, someone else wanted to know.

“I’m just open-minded to everybody. I grew up in a very open family that was open to everyone,” he said.

But why was he even following those accounts, another writer asked.

“I originally followed that account because I’m a patriotic guy and I love my country, and I support everybody in the military,” Garrett said, apparently referring to an account for The 4th American apparel.

Eventually the call moved on to the kinds of topics that are more typical of one of these phone calls, like wedding plans. For the record, they haven’t made any yet, but they wouldn’t rule out a TV wedding.

Also, Garrett says Jason Tartick would make a great next Bachelor, and Becca mentioned Jason, Wills, Colton and Blake as contenders.

If the couple was annoyed by the repeated questions about the Instagram likes they did a good job of hiding it, which is perhaps not unexpected considering that before she joined the Bachelor franchise Becca, 28, worked in public relations.

She was on the winning side of controversy last March when ABC televised Arie Luyendyk Jr. dumping her for his Bachelor runner-up in lingering, excruciating detail. He became public enemy No. 1 for the fans known as Bachelor Nation and Becca could do no wrong in their eyes.

After that go-round, Becca had to know the shoe would be on the other foot when she chose Garrett over popular runner-up Blake, a guy with a spotless social media profile as far as we know.

And if she’s been paying attention, she would also have noted other Bachelorettes who faced the online wrath of disappointed fans, including Rachel and Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was slut-shamed after she had sex with Nick Viall ahead of the fantasy suites episode.

Speaking of Rachel, she blogged about Becca’s finale. While she was glad that Becca found her “happy ending,” she was also, in her own words, “pissed off.”

That’s because viewers got to see “the progression of her love story with Garrett.”

“Do you ever recall seeing Bryan profess how excited he was to propose to me? Do you recall seeing me cry about how I was so excited to say yes to Bryan and get my fairytale ending? The answer would be ‘no’ to both of those questions,” Rachel wrote on US Weekly’s website.

“And it is a shame because both of those things actually happened. You just did not see them. See, you know more about the journey of my breakup (with Peter) than the journey to my proposal acceptance. I think it is fair to say that I was denied my on-camera happy ending.”

Rachel also noted that Becca did not have to sit onstage for three hours and watch the finale for the first time in front of a live audience, like Rachel did. “Becca did not have to deal with being baited with real time questions about her emotions watching certain scenes. Nope, that was me …

“She was protected and I was placed on display for three hours and labeled an angry Black female,” Rachel wrote.

Becca was asked about Rachel’s post on the conference call and said she didn’t remember that happening, but “every show format is a little bit different … I don’t really have much of a say in that.”

No, I suppose she doesn’t.

Nor do we, the fans, when all is said and done, have a say in whom she gets engaged to.

The bottom line is that whatever Garrett truly believes, it’s now between him and Becca to figure out.