Bachelor Nation Apologizes for Tagging Pieper James in Story About Fellow Contestant Serena Pitt

"I mean @serena_pitt is beautiful and I would be glad to be mistaken for her but come on @bachnation not all multiracial people look the same," Pieper James tweeted

Pieper James and Serena Pitt
Pieper James, Serena Pitt. Photo: Craig Sjodin/ ABC (2)

Bachelor Nation is apologizing after a tweet was sent out linking to a story about season 25 Bachelor contestant Serena Pitt while mistakenly tagging Pieper James.

The original, now-deleted tweet from Bachelor Nation — the official website from the producers of The Bachelor franchise — read, "Let's get to know the wonderful @pieper_jamess a bit more!" and linked to an article titled "20 Questions with Serena Pitt: Get to Know the Bachelor Nation Star a Bit Better!"

Pieper responded to the tweet, writing, "I mean @serena_pitt is beautiful and I would be glad to be mistaken for her but come on @bachnation not all multiracial people look the same."

In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, Bachelor Nation apologized for the mix-up, saying that Pieper's tag was accidental.

"Pieper and Serena, we sincerely apologize for the error in our previous tweet, in which Pieper was accidentally tagged to a feature on Serena," the statement reads. "Was caused by a typo in our scheduling system for a future post. We appreciate you holding us accountable."

pieper james tweet
pieper james/ twitter

The incident comes as the Bachelor franchise has faced criticism for its lack of racial diversity among contestants and the recent controversy surrounding longtime host Chris Harrison and season 25 finalist Rachael Kirkconnell.

While Matt James' season of The Bachelor was airing, social media posts from Kirkconnell — who ended up receiving the final rose — resurfaced that included photos of her attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party.

Harrison "stepped aside" from the ABC franchise following a widely criticized interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, during which he came to Kirkconnell's defense. Each facing swift backlash, both Harrison and Kirkconnell publicly apologized for their respective comments and actions.

pieper and matt
Pieper James and Matt James. Craig Sjodin via Getty
serena and matt
Serena Pitt, Matt James. Craig Sjodin via Getty

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Emmanuel Acho hosted the After the Final Rose special in Harrison's place, during which Matt, 29, told Kirkconnell, 24, that they "can't be in a relationship" after her past racially insensitive actions came to light.

Last month, a source told PEOPLE that producers are working to make "appropriate changes" behind the scenes of the franchise.

"A lot of work is being done behind the scenes to make the appropriate changes and proper moves going forward with the franchise," the source said.

Harrison will not be returning to host the upcoming two seasons of the Bachelorette, which will feature Katie Thurston and Michelle Young. Instead, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will be taking on the role.

"Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette," Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a joint statement obtained by PEOPLE last week. "We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season."

"As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks," the statement said. "These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world."

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