Standing up for what’s right. Bachelor Nation alums Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti addressed the fan backlash they’ve received for calling out former Bachelorette star Hannah Brown over her usage of the n-word.
The former Bachelor star, 31, and the Bachelor in Paradise alum, 32, started off on the June 3 episode of their “The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous” podcast by noting there was “more to the story” than just calling the 25-year-old out. Though the fan response “wasn’t that bad,” Ashley added there were still “people out there” who used the Dancing With the Stars winner’s controversy to bad-mouth them. The pair also noted they weren’t planning to “cancel her” over the incident.
“My hope is that we turn to forgiving, loving, accepting Hannah but recognizing what she did was wrong. What she said was wrong,” Ben said. “If you’re a Hannah fan, I urge you to hear what I’m saying. What she said was not right. Her apology was not great. She blamed her brother, and she posted on Instagram originally.”
Ben added, “Two weeks later, she comes out with an apology that I hope we can all listen to — as friends, as family, as fans. I hope we can hear what Hannah says and hey, she has a lot to learn, but she’s not saying she was all right.”
On May 16, the Alabama native came under fire for using the n-word while attempting to remember a TikTok dance to DaBaby‘s “Rockstar” during an Instagram Live. Her first apology, issued on May 17, was deemed “insensitive” by fans, followers and even some of her fellow Bachelor Nation alums. Hannah went Live again on May 30 to make another statement where she informed supporters of the steps she had taken toward accountability for the situation.
“Hannah made a mistake. I think everybody was begging for her to apologize and speak out because we were ready to forgive,” Ben said on the podcast. “I think the black community — from my friends that are black, from what Rachel Lindsay has said, what Mike Johnson has said — they were ready to forgive.”