Colton Underwood, a former star of ABC's The Bachelor, came out in a Wednesday interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts. He did so in part due to the reflection he was able to undergo during quarantine.
“Obviously this year’s been a lot for a lot of people, and it’s probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from or what they’ve been putting off in their lives," Underwood said. "For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time and I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay. I came to terms with that that earlier this year and have been processing it,” Underwood told Roberts. “The next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. I’m still nervous, but it’s been a journey for sure.”
“I’m emotional, but I’m emotional in such a good, happy positive way,” he added. “I’m like the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That means the world to me.”
Reactions to Underwood's coming out have been largely celebratory. However, Carole Radziwill — an alum of The Real Housewives of New York and a past journalist with ABC News — posed a controversial question to her former network in response on Twitter.
"I'm happy for Colton to be living his truth now. Is anyone talking about whether @ABC executives should be vetting their contestants better? Or what the women think?" Radziwill asked.
In response, Twitter users called out Radziwill for the latent homophobia in her question. "This is a shitty take, Carole. Are you saying ABC should have outed him if they suspected he was gay?" asked Leslie M.
"Not sure how a network is supposed to vet whether someone is battling the internal struggle of their sexuality. Everyone has their own process, journey, and timeframe when it comes to coming out. This is pretty tone deaf, Carole, and you’re giving off major Trump Supporter vibes," said RealityTVNation.
In his interview with Roberts, who herself came out as a lesbian in 2013, Underwood did offer an apology to the women he courted on his season of the reality compeition, in which contestants vie for a marriage proposal.
“Do I regret being The Bachelor? And handling it the way that I did?” he reflected. “I do think I could have handled it better, I’ll say that. I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was. I genuinely mean that, but also at the same time I can say ‘I’m sorry’ to all of those women, I can also say ‘thank you,’ because without them and without the Bachelor franchise, I don’t know if this would have ever come out.”
Speaking of Housewives, however, Bravo mogul Andy Cohen offered congratulations to Underwood in a celebratory tweet.