Will Lee Be At 'The Bachelorette: Men Tell All'? The Show Has To Be Careful With His Portrayal
The last few weeks of Bachelorette episodes have been blissful, and that's not just because of Rachel Lindsay's scenic European jaunt, but because Lee Garrett was finally eliminated. But there's one last chance for the suitors to make their impression on the audience and Rachel, and that's during the reunion special. Will Lee be at The Bachelorette: Men Tell All? ABC has not yet released any information that Lee with either attend or be sitting The Men Tell All out. (The network also hasn't yet responded to Bustle's request for comment.) To contrast, there's been reports that DeMario Jackson will be attending the special, and, according to People Magazine, Rachel's reaction to that news was, "If he has something to say, I’ll listen. But I said my piece."
There aren't even any unsubstantiated rumors from anonymous sources about Lee's attendance or lack thereof, which could mean the series is inviting him and doesn't feel the need to make an announcement, or that he could be cut out and totally ignored. Lee doesn't seem to want any more publicity — his social media accounts are set to private — but the show also has not commented on Lee's racially insensitive alleged tweets that were reportedly found by his followers before his account was set to private. (When Bustle reached out about the alleged tweets, ABC and Warner Bros. declined to comment. Lee could not be directly reached for comment.) Host Chris Harrison did claim on Twitter that production hadn't known about the tweets prior to Lee's casting.
For those asking, no, of course we didn't know about the offensive tweets from Lee's account. None of us were aware of them Very unfortunate— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) June 2, 2017
But now, after the alleged comments became public, everyone knows. So, if Lee is going to be on The Bachelorette reunion special, ABC and the production team needs to be mindful of this.
Lee was presented as unambiguously villainous on the show because he was often picking fights with others. Pretty much his every comment was edited with ominous music playing in the background, the other contestants had open contempt for him, and Rachel even tweeted a veiled comment about Lee getting eliminated from the show. If he does appear on the special, he likely won't be getting a sympathetic response from audience or cast alike. It's possible that Lee will choose to stay home because of this, or that he simply won't be invited or mentioned at all.
But in a low-drama season like this one, it's just as possible that The Bachelorette is saving Lee's appearance for a shocking surprise. If I had to make one wish for The Men Tell All it would be that if Lee does appear, the series won't make Kenny share the screen with him again and that he will be held accountable for his alleged words.
There's already been enough time spent on Lee's delight in personally mocking Kenny, and if The Bachelorette really cares about the contestants who made a real attempt at winning Rachel's heart, then they should at least keep Lee separate from his targets. He's not the mastermind he thinks he is, and Kenny doesn't deserve to be made to feel uncomfortable just so Lee can have another round of Machiavellian roleplay.
Chris Harrison's role has been limited this season, so The Men Tell All is a great opportunity for him to own his leadership role on the show and grill Lee about why he came on The Bachelorette, what made him lash out at Kenny and Eric, both black men, and even ask him about the alleged tweets. The show passed a milestone with its first Bachelorette of color this season, but it needs to either condemn Lee to total obscurity, or use his presence as an example of the show's intolerance for prejudiced comments and behavior. We'll see which it chooses to go with.