Is a bumper sticker worth a thousand words?
Following Monday night’s season finale of The Bachelorette, Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen made their official debut as an engaged couple on the live After the Final Rose special. At the end of the hour, host Chris Harrison presented the pair with a special gift: a mini van, which was a nod to night one of the season when Yrigoyen rolled up in one to show off his future soccer dad skills.
Eagle-eyed fans on social media pointed out that the van was adorned with a blue and yellow Human Rights Campaign equality bumper sticker, which many assume was a subtle way of addressing Yrigoyen’s Instagram scandal. (Just days after the season premiere, news broke that Yrigoyen had previously liked a number of highly inflammatory Instagram posts, including some that were racist and homophobic.)
ABC has not commented on whether the sticker placement was intentional, but franchise creator Mike Fleiss did retweet Entertainment Weekly TV critic Kristen Baldwin’s take on the matter.
“Look at producers trolling Garrett with an #equality bumper sticker on the free minivan!” she wrote.
Yrigoyen has apologized for the controversy, both in a statement when the initial news broke and again on After the Final Rose, where he said that the openly liberal Kufrin had “helped me through everything.”
“We’ve been honest and open and transparent with one another from the beginning,” he said. “I feel like when I was liking things it was going against things she stands for and that made it really hard on us as a couple. … We got through that together and we’re growing.”
Kufrin acknowledged that the scandal was “a major thing that we had to talk about early on at the very beginning of our relationship.”
“I, luckily, got to know him for who he is … so I got to see who he is, his heart, his soul,” she said. “And the Instagram situation, I don’t condone that and I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend. I just want to move forward and to learn and to grown and to continue to educate ourselves. That’s all that you can ask for in another person.”
Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on stands Friday, Yrigoyen said facing the legions of fans labeling him a bigot was “tough.”
“Just because I liked it, doesn’t necessarily mean that I supported it,” he said. “I was raised in a very open-minded family that was accepting to everybody. We’re very non-judgmental. I’m genuinely sincere.”
“People have been saying really terrible things about [Garrett], but that’s not who he is,” added Kufrin. “At his core, he’s a good guy. We’ve all made mistakes and done things that aren’t perfect. But all I could ask for is somebody who owns up to what they’ve done and who apologizes and wants to grow. And that’s what he’s done.”