"It is not okay in any context, in any situation whatsoever, to say that word," said the former Bachelor

By Robyn Merrett
May 20, 2020 03:23 PM

Nick Viall is sharing his thoughts on Hannah Brown's "very ignorant" use of the N-word while singing along to a song over the weekend.

On the latest episode of his podcast The Viall Files, Viall, 39, said he was disappointed in the Bachelorette star's apology and that he believes "she's not racist, but what she said was very ignorant." Viall also explained why he doesn't think Brown, 25, should be canceled over the incident.

"The reality is, it is not okay in any context to say that word," said the former Bachelor. "I am very critical of Hannah Brown's use of that word."

"Listen, Hannah Brown has a massive platform," he continued. "She has been very outspoken about her desire to be a role model, specifically to young women out there. She has talked about it a lot ... And quite frankly, her going on Instagram Live ... and using that word in any context whatsoever is not being a role model, certainly not a good one."

"She has to be held to a high standard," he insisted. "We all do. And it is very disappointing to see. Honestly, her initial response was disappointing. She has since posted a written apology on her Instagram Story that is set to expire. As Rachel [Lindsay] said on her Instagram Live, that doesn't read as sincere. We don't know whether that came from her heart or if it came from her publicist. ... Frankly, that's a really terrible apology and really insincere and it comes across as, again, ignorant to what she's speaking on."

Nick Viall, Hannah Brown
Nick Viall, Hannah Brown
| Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Jason Kempin/Getty

Viall said he hopes this will be a "learning opportunity" for Brown.

"I don't think Hannah Brown should be canceled," he said. "I got a lot of messages too, saying, 'Let's cancel Hannah Brown!' You know how I feel about cancel culture. I don't think there's a lot of positives that come from it. This is a learning opportunity, hopefully for Hannah. Let's see how she responds. So far, her response hasn't been great, but I personally am willing to see how she handles this."

Viall previously reacted to Brown using the N-word right after it happened, writing on his Instagram Story, "There is no excuse. Period."

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."

Brown later issued a more formal apology in a statement posted on her Instagram Story on Sunday.

"I owe you all a major apology," she began. "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."

Hannah Brown Apology
Hannah Brown/Instagram

Rachel Lindsay — the first and only black lead in the history of the ABC franchise — was one of the first Bachelor Nation stars to react.

"We can't give people a pass for this. We have to hold people accountable for what they're doing," Lindsay, 35, 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."