'Bachelorette' Contestant Garrett's Instagram Saga Just Added Another Chapter

Paul Hebert/ABC

One aspect of pop culture that social media has definitively changed is the way people consume and talk about reality television. What was The Bachelor before fans were able to follow all of the contestants and help pay them for their spon con? On Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, fans are were only one episode in when the first social media drama of the season emerged. After the controversy arose from his old one, does Garrett from The Bachelorette have a new Instagram?

If you’re not familiar with this whole controversy, I'll back up a little bit — former Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey called out on Twitter that the Bachelor producers should do a little bit more due diligence when looking through potential contestants’ social media. Why? She claimed that contestant and frontrunner Garrett Yrigoyen liked a series of transphobic, homophobic, and sexist memes on his alleged Instagram, garrett_yrigs12 — that was the account, by the way, that Bachelor spoiler maven and blogger Reality Steve named as Garrett’s when he announced that Garrett would be on the show. (Bustle reached out to ABC, but the network declined to comment on the situation.) Following the allegations, it seems that Garrett deleted his old account. In its place, a bunch of faux accounts with his name popped up, and Reality Steve has debunked them all.

What was real, though, was his newer verified account — @gy_yrigoyen. From that account, as reported by Variety, Garrett issued a statement apologizing for his actions, claiming that he takes “full responsibility for my “like” on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive” and that “garrett_yrigs12 was my former Instagram handle and I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself.” He went on to say that he is not perfect, and that all of those likes were not a reflection of who he is as a person. “I do not want my social media to define who I am, and I will take better care moving forward to support all walks of life,” Garrett said. “Again, I sincerely apologize and am sorry for any hurt, damage, or offense I may have caused.”

Unfortunately, this new handle of Garrett’s was already taken down — if you visit the link to his apology, you get a “sorry, this page isn't available.” The same goes for the main page, too. Garrett’s Twitter under the same original name has been taken down, also, so it seems as though Garrett is purging his life of his social media until the storm dies down, or maybe until he can form a better apology than sorry you saw all of my likes on Instagram. He is laying low, whether it’s of his own accord or that of ABC’s. Bustle reached out to ABC regarding this new deletion, but had not received a response as of press time.

UPDATE: Garrett's Instagram, @gy_yrigoyen, seems to be back up publicly after a period of being deleted and made private.

Paul Hebert/ABC

EARLIER: Garrett is a clear frontrunner on The Bachelorette (he got Becca’s first kiss and the first impression rose), and so it wasn’t really a surprise when she posted her own Instagram talking about how fans shouldn’t jump to conclusions about things and how hard it is to put your whole life out there for public consumption. It does seem as though she's responding directly to the Garrett kerfuffle, though she doesn't mention it explicitly. Becca wrote:

“I also want to ask that you keep an open heart in watching this all unfold. 28 guys came on this journey with me from all across the country and laid their hearts on the line for a chance at love. There are many different personalities, interests and perspectives, but every man deserves to feel the same support and openness that I’ve received over the past few months. It’s not an easy thing to do, to give up your life and put everything on display, especially in this social climate.”

This could just be a blanket statement about having an open mind, but the fact that she referenced “different perspectives” and today’s “social climate” make it sound like she’s defending Garrett. And when asked about the situation on Entertainment Tonight, Becca urged fans to give him the benefit of the doubt:

"I've heard a little bit about it these past couple days. I've just been so busy traveling around the country with press that I haven't really been able to read too much up on it, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and at the end of the day I wanted to go on this journey to open up myself and have people see my love story unfold and I would hope that they would stay open and respect me but also stay open and respect these 28 guys that went along on the journey with me."

For now, it seems like The Bachelorette is circling the wagons. But with the disappearance of his new, verified Instagram, it seems that fans won't be hearing much more from Garrett outside of what he says on the actual season.