The Bachelorette may have ended but the show is still making headlines – headlines we should all be talking about.
10’s Bachelorette, starring Brooke Blurton this year, was an incredibly important season. It was the first time the reality show featured a First Nations woman and a member of the LGBTQ+ as the bachelorette.
There had also been a huge, public push for Blurton to be the bachelorette, including an online petition. Yet this season failed to produce the same ratings as previous seasons. However, you can’t deny it is igniting some pretty incredible conversations – even in the show’s aftermath.
It may also be worth pausing and asking why this season failed to crack the same ratings as last year?
Is it because as many people simply didn’t connect with this season of The Bachelorette or is it because people were less inclined to watch a season that featured both male and female contestants?
It may be an impossible question to answer but it is still one worth asking.
Of course, the show still did have an engaged audience, it did well in key demographics and found life online and in BVOD.
This season has also given us plenty to talk about. And while it may not have got the eyeballs of past seasons, it has taken over the internet, even after it has wrapped.
If you are active on social media, there’s no doubt you’ve probably come across the drama between reality star Abbie Chatfield and Blurton.
If you need a catch-up, Chatfield and Blurton were mates and Chatfield even appeared on The Bachelorette this season.
However, she was later caught kissing one of the contestants on Blurton’s season before the show had wrapped, basically creating a spoiler and a bit of a media frenzy.
Channel 10 even came out to confirm they hadn’t blacklisted Chatfield over it.
Blurton didn’t address the drama straight away but yesterday she took to social media to share her thoughts on the situation.
Blurton said: “Everyone who watched the show or was on the show will know that I put my heart and soul into it and it meant a lot for me to open myself up so vulnerably like that.
“Not only that but for what it meant for the LGBTQIA+ and First Nations Community to have that display of representation.
“This moves me to my new point. The hardest point.
“For that to be tainted ONCE again by 1. What I thought was a close friend. 2. Another white woman displaying what white privilege looks like. 3. A very clear display of narcissism.
“Hurts me. Literally pains me. I’ve reached out to this person to resolve this ‘conflict’ which in fact, classic naive me, adult me went to this person to communicate openly about the layers of complexity that this person’s actions show and take away from NOT only me but what it meant for a queer woman of colour.”
Chatfield then responded to Blurton’s public Instagram story that has now been deleted with a post on Instagram that said: “This is to address the post made by Brooke. A month ago, a video of Konrad and I kissing was secretly captured by a patron and made public.
“Following this, Brooke and I had a conversation in which I apologised and expressed regret multiple times for our public affection as this was prior to Konrad’s exit from the show. Konrad had a similar conversation with Brooke.
“We met as a result of him coming along to a catch up with a mutual friend, the public setting was an accident. We absolutely should have waited to be in private as we are public figures and these are things we need to consider, but we didn’t. We also didn’t consider the possible ramifications of our actions.
“Immediately following this, we intentionally kept things quiet, and did not leave the house together in an effort to not be photographed out of respect for the show and to minimise press surrounding the spoiler of Konrad’s exit.
“When I uploaded a post confirming the numerous rumours, it was not with malice.
“The morning of, I mistook a message from Brooke expressing her happiness for and approval of our relationship as a green light to upload a post. Following the post, Konrad received an equally supportive message.
“I see with hindsight that this assumption was naïve. I now understand the timing of publicly sharing our relationship should have been more considered and that is my fault.
“I acknowledge that impact outweighs intent. I didn’t take into account the Australian media landscape and the inherent privilege that I hold as a white woman.
“My actions had the potential to undermine the importance that this pivotal season of The Bachelorette holds to the First Nations and LGBTQIA+ Communities.
“This is an extremely important conversation to be having. In future, this will be at the forefront of my mind and I will continue to listen to and amplify minority communities, and endeavour to learn. I’m sorry.”
Of course, it would be easy to write this off as she said/she said or reality star drama, but the truth is this isn’t only about two reality stars having a disagreement. It is also about the different ways white and black women in Australia are treated by the media.
Win or lose, Channel 10 created a reality show that was inclusive and interesting, and hopefully, it won’t take long for the audience and other media outlets to catch up.
They’ve also picked a bachelorette that isn’t afraid to speak up, Blurton is igniting uncomfortable but crucial conversations.
Blurton’s season of The Bachelorette and the conversations surrounding it continue to be important.
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