Tuesday night’s episode of “The Bachelorette” sparked controversy when it featured the male contestants playing strip dodgeball while Clare Crawley pushed them into taking off their clothes, a situation which would have surely angered feminists if the genders were reversed.
“During Tuesday night’s episode, the contestants were divided into a red team and blue team to compete for a group date,” Fox News reported of the episode. “At the last minute Crawley, 39, told the men, ‘I feel like I wanna up the ante here. I think we should play strip dodgeball.'”
A surprised host Chris Harrison then asked Crawley, “So this tournament is over when the losing team has nothing on?”
“Yeah. This is my game, these are my rules,” she responded.
The blue team lost and were completely naked at the end of the game. Only one contestant, Brendan Morris, refused to remove his jockstrap. “I love you, but I can’t,” he said in defiance.
After hugging the naked men, Crawley then joined the winning red team for a date. People on Twitter noted that such a situation would have likely gotten the show canceled if the genders were reversed.
“I realize this ‘date’ is gonna have a lot of critics, but can you imagine the flak the show would get if this was #Thebachelor and the girls were stripping down to their underwear? #sexist #TheBachelorette,” tweeted former “Bachelorette” contestant J.P. Rosenbaum.
I realize this “date” is gonna have a lot of critics, but can you imagine the flak the show would get if this was #Thebachelor and the girls were stripping down to their underwear? #sexist #TheBachelorette #dadbod
— J.P. Rosenbaum (@JP_Rosenbaum) October 21, 2020
“Imagine the outrage if Juan Pablo asked the girls to do strip dodgeball….and said ‘sorry girls, my game my rules’ Why does Claire [sic] get a pass? This is cringeworthy TV…. #bachelorette #TheBachelorette,” said another fan.
Imagine the outrage if Juan Pablo asked the girls to do strip dodgeball….and said “sorry girls, my game my rules”
— Nicko (@StuffNickoDoes) October 21, 2020
“I’m honestly grossed out by this. This would NEVER happen the other way around with women playing ‘strip dodgeball,’ so they shouldn’t make the men do it either. Not a good look @BacheloretteABC #Bachelorette,” said another.
I’m honestly grossed out by this. This would NEVER happen the other way around with women playing “strip dodgeball,” so they shouldn’t make the men do it either. Not a good look @BacheloretteABC #Bachelorette
— Danielle Graham (@d_sea_g) October 21, 2020
As the “Black Lives Matter” protests erupted nationwide earlier this summer, “The Bachelor” franchise was severely criticized when Rachel Lindsay, the first black American to lead a season of the franchise, called on the show to promote more diversity.
“In 40 seasons, [‘The Bachelor’] had one black lead,” Lindsay said. “You are almost on par to say you’re more likely to become the president of the United States than you are a black lead in this franchise. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous.”
If the franchise does not change course, Lindsay said that she is prepared to step away from it entirely. Just recently, she appeared as a judge on the “Bachelor” spin-off show “Listen to Your Heart.”
“It’s been asked of me: ‘Will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way?’” Lindsay said. “I can’t. I have to see some type of change. It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point, it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it.”