As the drama heats up on this season of “The Bachelor,” fans have noticed that this season has moved beyond the usual theatrics with women on the show turning to bullying.
Last week, when five new women vying for Matt James’ heart joined the remaining 18 ladies on the show, several appeared to gang-up on, ridicule and spread rumors about others in the house. Specifically when contestant Anna Redman, floated a rumor that new contestant Britanny Galvin moonlighted as an escort, which Galvin flatly denied.
“No I’m not an escort,” said Galvin during last week’s episode. “It’s just like so ridiculous to even say that. To have that come out of my mouth, I’ve had a boyfriend my entire -- since I was 16.”
After Redman confronted Galvin, Redman was immediately dubbed a “mean girl” on the show and among “Bachelor” fans online.
“We talk about bullying when it comes to adults and adult women. It’s usually called relational aggression,” said writer and journalist Erica Souter about the bullying on the show. “That means we see spreading rumors, harassing, ostracizing, ganging up against woman to kind of leave her out and make her feel bad, especially all of the behavior that we’re actually seeing on this season of ‘The Bachelor.’”
“In this particular show, everyone’s kind of vying for the same prize,” Souter said. “The weapon that they have in their arsenal is to kind of attack another woman and make her feel like she doesn’t want to be there. So in a way, they’re playing the game, but in a very cool way.”
Now on the new episode Monday, James will confront the hurtful behavior head on after contestant Katie Thurston brought the issue to his attention in last week’s episode.
“The house just needs to be better,” she told James at the end of their group date. “It’s just a toxic environment and there’s some pretty bad rumors starting about the new girls that could literally ruin their lives.”
In an exclusive clip, James pulls Victoria Larson aside to confront her about her hurtful demeanor toward other women on the show including Ryan Claytor, who Larson called a “hoe” for being a dancer.
Since the beginning of this season, the 28-year-old known as the self-declared “queen” on the show, was quickly dubbed also as a villain on the show after using words like “slut” and “whore” to describe other women competing for James’ heart.
In an interview last week with “Good Morning America,” Larson addressed her choice of words and said that she “never had ill intent.”
“If my words or actions hurt anyone, I sincerely apologize and I’ll do better and hold myself accountable,” she said. “I’m not a bully, I’m really not.”
Still, the backlash from viewers against Larson has been strong. She told “GMA” that she’s even received death threats. Now she wants viewers to know that what they see on television may not always be what they seem.
“I don’t think my kindness really got to show through,” she said. “I really do have a good heart.”
Will Matt see Larson’s kind heart and get to the bottom of all the bullying? Find out tonight when “The Bachelor” returns at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.