Bachelorette Hannah Brown Apologizes After Saying N-Word on Instagram: 'There Is No Excuse'
"I have read your messages and seen the hurt I have caused," Hannah Brown said
Hannah Brown has issued an apology for saying a racial slur on social media during a since-expired Instagram Live video.
"I owe you all a major apology," the Bachelorette star, 25, wrote in a statement on her Instagram Story on Sunday. "There is no excuse and I will not justify what I said."
"I have read your messages and seen the hurt I have caused," she continued. "I own it all. I am terribly sorry and know that whether in public or private, this language is unacceptable. I promise to do better."
Brown found herself in hot water on Saturday night when she repeated the N-word while singing the lyrics to DaBaby's hit single, "Rockstar."
Fans watching along caught the moment, immediately confronting her in the comments.
"I did?" a seemingly surprised Brown initially said, according to clips from the Live captured by fan account Bachelor Tea Spill. "I'm so sorry ... No, I was singing ... I'm so sorry."
"I really don't think I said that word, I don't think I said that word, but now I'm like, 'Oh God,' " she continued. "I'd never use that word. I've never called anybody that. We don't say that word."
"Y'all can think I said whatever I did or think I'm something I'm not, but I'm not that," Brown insisted. "Look, people are going to want to think whatever they want to think of me, get mad at me, whatever. And even if I did accidentally say it, I'm very sorry, I was singing a song and not even thinking."
Despite her apology there, Brown's use of the N-word led to backlash from critics online.
Many of Brown's fellow Bachelor Nation members also spoke out, including Rachel Lindsay — the first and only black lead in the history of the ABC franchise.
"We can't give people a pass for this. We have to hold people accountable for what they're doing," Lindsay said in an Instagram Live saved to her IGTV.
"Non-black people should not feel okay about saying the word n*****. It's wrong," she added. "You should feel disgusted when you say that word. You should feel uncomfortable. That word has so much weight and history behind it. If you don't know, please do yourself a favor and educate yourself on that word. That word was used to make black people feel less than ... and every time you use that word and you're not black, you give that word power."
Bekah Martinez, who appeared on Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season of the show, also wrote a lengthy statement on her Instagram Story.
"How are people still gonna defend CELEBS with SOOO much access to privilege, knowledge, and education saying the N-word," Martinez wrote. "Even if it's 'just the lyrics to a song' ... especially when that person had the wherewithal to skip over the F-word lyric first."
She continued, "We've GOT to hold people accountable to do better otherwise we're continuing to prioritize the feelings of white people (and someone we 'stan') over ending our country's loooong history of casual racism and flippant anti-blackness."
"And no, you can't say the N-word just because black people say it," said Martinez. "Black people reclaimed the use of a word that was used for centuries to oppress and dehumanize them. It's a word that holds so much historical weight that the black community is still healing from, and parts of the white community are STILL weaponizing for dehumanization, particularly in the south."
She added in a follow-up video: "I just want to acknowledge that I am definitely far from perfect and I grew up with a lot of ignorance that I had to unlearn and it was difficult and uncomfortable. I just think it's disturbing when people are so quick to excuse behavior that is damaging and hurtful and I think it's also upsetting to me when people don't take the weight of their responsibility of someone with a lot of privilege and a lot of influence seriously and don't take the time to care and acknowledge when they f--- up."
Nick Viall, who had a starring role on the 21st season of The Bachelor after finishing as runner-up in two seasons of The Bachelorette, said it was "deeply disappointing to see."
"There is no excuse. Period," he wrote on his Instagram Story.
Said Mike Johnson, who competed for Brown's heart on The Bachelorette: "She shouldn't have said the N-word. It's pretty damn simple to me."
Meanwhile, Tyler Cameron —who was also on Brown's season of The Bachelorette — urged his followers not to turn on her during this time.
"In these moments you have the opportunity to bury someone or lift them up," he wrote. "We need to lift [Hannah Brown] up from this. She is learning and growing just like every single one of us. Love rids hate. Hate only makes more hate. Let's learn and lift each other up with love."
"This is not about dragging [Hannah Brown]," he also said. "This is about using your platform for reasons like this. So we can educate those who don't get it. This is bigger than [Hannah Brown] This is a societal problem."
Cameron — who was self-isolating with Brown last month — went on to ask those blaming rappers for using the word to look inward instead.
"[Hannah Brown] is not racist. I know. But blaming the rap artist is not the answer. Educate yourself ... We have a long way to go on this issue and a lot to learn. If you find yourself getting defensive, you are part of the problem."