Garrett Yrigoyen finally clarifies his views and beliefs behind his controversial Instagram activity
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/10/2018
Garrett Yrigoyen and Becca Kufrin are opening up about his Instagram controversy like never before, with The Bachelorette winner going into detail about why he followed certain accounts and what's behind his offensive "likes."
Garrett's activity on social media last year suggests he's a staunch conservative with offensive views on immigrants, feminists, the transgender community, and more -- views that just so happen to be a stark contrast from what Becca believes given she supported Hillary Clinton in the last election and had participated in a Women's March for equal rights.
"I've always considered myself to be an open-minded person, accepting of everybody. I love everybody. I'm a genuine guy. I learned that social media was almost defining who I was. I feel like it was almost attacking my character by some of the labels that were being put up against my name," Garrett told The Hollywood Reporter in a sit-down interview with Becca at his side.
"That was very hurtful towards me, so I feel like I now saw the other side of the story from other people, where my likes were offending them and hurting them and I realize I was doing the wrong thing and making those mistakes. And I don't ever want to do that again."
Garrett apparently followed right-wing pages, including a clothing company called Merica Supply Co., which posted a photo he had liked featuring a side-by-side comparison of "conservative women" vs. "leftist women."
The conservative side showed a beautiful, thin blonde dressed in the American flag, while the other side showed an overweight woman wearing an "I'm A F-kin Feminist" tank top.
"I originally followed that account because I'm a patriotic guy and I love my country and I support everybody in the military. That's why I initially followed them and that was it," said Garrett, who also followed an account called @the4thamerican.
"I'm starting to read the posts now and go from there, whereas before I would kind of scroll through and double-tap the images. Now, I'm reading into things before I'm supporting them... I'm just paying attention to the things that I'm liking and going from there."
Garrett claims he actually found himself offended by the content of these social-media accounts once he understood the meaning and message behind them.
For example, Garrett told The Reporter he does not agree with posts mocking the transgender community -- such as Caitlyn Jenner's transition -- or content criticizing NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the national anthem at football games in protest of police brutality.
"I don't think a lot of people know, but Colin Kaepernick and I were friends in college. We went to the same college together. I really liked him in college and it still stands that way today," Garrett explained.
"I grew up in a very open family that was welcoming of everyone and I still stand by that today, as I'm open and accepting of everybody."
One of Garrett's "likes" also suggested he believes Parkland shooting survivor and anti-gun activist, David Hogg, was not actually present at the shooting but was being paid to further an agenda.
"No, I don't believe David Hogg is a crisis actor," Garrett clarified to The Reporter.
Garrett said he's "lucky" to have a supportive fiancee like Becca, who is willing to educate him on her beliefs and ideals and help him grow, understand, and become a better person.
"She helps me see that side of things and it helps me say, 'Oh, I didn't understand that that's what could have happened or come from it.' She helps me see that and get past it and move forward," Garrett noted.
Becca explained this scandal was part of their story and something they discussed early on in their engagement.
"He has been great about wanting to push himself, wanting to educate himself, and learn and grow in a positive way. That's something that I look for in a partner. We all make mistakes, we've all screwed up in the past and we've all done something to offend somebody at some point," Becca reasoned.
"All I could ask for in a relationship... is that people recognize that and they can admit fault when it happens and say, 'Look, I was in the wrong but I want to move forward, I want to better myself.' And that's what he's done."
Becca has said she doesn't condone any of the offensive material Garrett showed interest in on social media, but she also believes his so-called "mindless double taps" do not accurately represent his character and values.
"When you use social media to create a judgment about somebody, that's just a small sampling. In this specific case with Garrett, I got to know who he is truly as a person so I can only hope people do that, not only for me and Garrett and our relationship, but for everyone they encounter," she said.
Garrett and Becca insisted they did have political conversations while filming The Bachelorette during their date in Thailand, although such footage did not air on the show.
"When we got to Thailand, we got to spend some extra time with one another. We got to know each other on a deeper level and that's when my love for her grew even stronger. I just knew, even though we didn't see eye to eye on necessarily everything, we can still find a common ground and work through it with one another," Garrett revealed.
And Becca added, "I have things that are really important to me in my life, and he does, too. There are questions and conversations that I knew I needed to have to get to the next point in any relationship."
"You're trying to condense everything into a two-hour show each week, so there's so much that happens on a daily basis that no one will ever see."
Some fans have wondered whether Becca would have selected Garrett in the end had she known about his interests on social media and gotten to surf through his Twitter and Instagram accounts before the Final Rose Ceremony.
But Becca insisted to The Reporter she actually enjoyed getting to know Garrett away from all of those "distractions."
"One thing that I loved was to be able to get to know [the contestants] away from social media, away from having your cellphone or TV or all the added distractions," Becca explained.
"You remove all of that and it's really just face-to-face interactions, conversations; being able to get to know people for who they really are. I personally loved that aspect of it..."
"People are really quick to make judgments off of a handful of things that they see on the Internet. And so, I was just trying to stay open the entire journey and I feel like I want that to still continue outside of it now, too."
Garrett summed up his experience through it all: "I obviously get it, I made mistakes. But our relationship was built on a solid, sound foundation that was very organic... I feel like her and I are each other's person, and if she had explored my Instagram and seen that initially, she might have missed out on that."
Becca gave Garrett her final rose instead of The Bachelorette's Season 14 runner-up, Blake Horstmann. Becca and Garrett claim to be head-over-heels in love, and they intend to move to California together soon.