Greer Blitzer's 'Bachelor' Castmates Say She Addressed Past Defense of Blackface with Them 'Immediately'

Blitzer previously apologized for her previous defense of Blackface, saying she was "deeply sorry" she "used misguided arguments"

The Bachelor's Greer Blitzer Answers Castmates' Questions About Past Blackface Costume
Photo: Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty

The Bachelor castmates of Greer Blitzer, who was Zach Shallcross's first impression rose recipient before her elimination, are reacting to how she's handled her recent Blackface scandal.

During Tuesday's Women Tell All special, host Jesse Palmer brought up the controversy surrounding Blitzer's past social media posts, in which she defended an acquaintance posing in Blackface several years ago. Alyssa "Aly" Jacobs and Kylee Russell also shared their feelings about how Blitzer handled her initial response.

Greer, 24, was forced to answer questions about this matter during the episode — and her castmates tell PEOPLE they approve.

"You know, this is one of those things where as much as it's like a relationship, it's also almost a social experience. I got to meet Greer without social media. I didn't look up her Instagram or anything for that fact. I only knew the person that she brought, and she was nothing but the utmost of respectful to me," Aly, 26, told PEOPLE at the filming of WTA. "I saw her be very respectful to other girls. Her and I bonded a lot and got to know each other. We're from the same city, we have the same birthday, so we were cool."

Aly said it "was hurtful to hear and see the things" Greer commented. However, Aly "respected" the fact that Greer "always faced it head-on."

"She didn't wait for things to come out, she told us immediately when we got back what it was. And you know, I respect and appreciate that she could have the conversation that she had tonight because I'm sure that was very difficult," she continued. "I respect and appreciate that she could also acknowledge that she's not the same person that she was seven years ago, and I hope that that's like, courage for someone else to instead of hide behind your mistakes, call them out. Say what it is and move past it. That just leaves room for a lot of growth and maturity."

The Bachelor's Greer Blitzer Answers Castmates' Questions About Past Blackface Costume
Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty

Aly added: "I just think we all have a lot more learning to do and clearly, she's on the journey to do that. And so I have a lot of respect for her — at least the person that she is today — and glad that she can look back and say that's a different person and not recognize them."

Kylee, 25, also told PEOPLE she believes Greer "owned up to her actions and what she's done."

"She even took it upon herself to have the conversation with the doctor," she said. "I think it just starts with taking that first step, and she did. And that's all we can ask. Do I hope her mindset has changed and she is more conscious in the future? Absolutely. Do I know that's gonna happen? Not necessarily, but I'm glad she took that first step."

Months after a Reddit user shared screenshots of her supporting a teenager who drew criticism for wearing Blackface at a party, Greer apologized via her Instagram Stories in January.

"The journey to love is filled with lessons and these lessons are also made on our journey of growth. In my past, I have made some uneducated, ignorant and frankly, wrong comments on my social media accounts," she previously wrote. "In particular, I used misguided arguments on Twitter to defend a student who dressed in Blackface as Tupac for Halloween."

"I am deeply sorry to those I have hurt, especially those within the Black community, not because these screenshots have resurfaced, but because I ever shared these harmful opinions at all," she added. "Time and age do not excuse my actions, but this is not a reflection of who I am today."

THE BACHELOR - “2701” – Zach’s Journey to find love begins! Thirty hopeful women arrive at the mansion looking for love and to make a lasting first impression with our newest leading man. The pressure is on and despite their best efforts, not all will come up roses on this first evening like no other on “The Bachelor,” premiering MONDAY, JAN. 23 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) GREER, ZACH SHALLCROSS
Greer and Zach Shallcross on The Bachelor. Craig Sjodin/ABC

Greer has since elaborated further during Tuesday's WTA special, explaining that what she "failed to mention" in her original post is that "what happened was racist."

"It's not about the intent, it's about the impact. And this acquaintance of mine that I knew performing Blackface was racist," the medical sales rep said. "Me defending it was racist. My ignorance was racist and I'm just so ashamed. I'm just deeply sorry that I hurt the Black community."

She added: "I can't go back in time. All I can do is try to be better now and try to do better in my future."

Greer said she's "so ashamed" and "so disgusted" for being ignorant about why Blackface is wrong. "I had friends in my corner telling me what I did wasn't wrong, and that's wrong," she said.

Since she "wanted to learn more" about the issues with her wrongdoing, Greer said she chose to do the work.

"I looked up lectures, really wanted to dive deep into the history of Blackface and understand why it was wrong, why it's offensive. And the research I was able to do, I just realized it was a symbolism for dehumanizing the Black community" she said. "I want to take that accountability, I don't want to excuse it … that girl was racist."

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Also reacting to how she handled this on-screen moment, Jesse later told PEOPLE she addressed them "head-on."

"Look, nobody on the show condones any of those tweets that she had," the Bachelor host, 44, said. "But I think everybody on the show is really proud of her for taking it head-on and wanting to have the opportunity to address everything, and we're also really, really thankful for Dr. Banks too for helping guide that conversation and in helping with that as well."

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The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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