'The Bachelor' alum Colton Underwood facing petition to cancel his upcoming reality show
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/20/2021
The Bachelor alum Colton Underwood's new reality show may get canceled before it even premieres, as tens of thousands of people have signed a petition seeking to pull the plug on the currently-filming series.
Reports have circulated Colton, who starred on The Bachelor's 23rd season in 2019, will star in a new docu-reality series about his life after coming out as gay, and Us Weekly reported the series will be launched on Netflix.
While Netflix has yet to confirm or officially announce Colton's new show, a Change.org petition -- which boasts well over 25,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning -- is trying to prevent The Bachelor alum's return to TV.
The Change.org petition demands that Netflix cancels Colton's new reality show that has already been filming for "a few weeks," according to The New York Post's Page Six, not because Colton is gay but because of how he treated Cassie Randolph, his The Bachelor winner, after the couple broke up.
Although their breakup was initially amicable and Colton and Cassie intended on staying friends, the pair engaged in a nasty social-media feud and then Cassie filed a restraining order against Colton in September 2020 because she was reportedly "fearful for her safety" after he allegedly stalked and harassed her.
The Change.org petition reads, "It was announced that Colton Underwood would be the focus of a Netflix documentary about being an out gay man. On Good Morning America, he came out as gay, and held an interview regarding his sexuality."
"Colton is a former Bachelor lead who stalked his final pick, Cassie Randolph. He placed a tracker on her car, sent her and her friends anonymous threatening texts, and was even seen standing outside her window extremely late in the night, resulting in her brother attempting to de-escalate the situation."
The petition continues, "Cassie is a victim of Colton's abuse, and he does not deserve a platform in any way. Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative, and dangerous behavior."
Cassie also filed a police report in October 2020 citing the alleged post-breakup stalking and harassment.
Colton, however, told multiple press outlets Cassie ultimately decided to drop the restraining order after they were able to reach an agreement in private that addressed Cassie's concerns.
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But a source close to Cassie recently told the UK's Daily Mail that the Randolph family is displeased Colton's alleged alarming actions last year are being overshadowed and maybe even forgotten by the recent praise he's been receiving for coming out as gay and being true to himself.
The Bachelor alum Demi Burnett, who also competed on Colton's season and is openly bisexual, told The Sun that Colton needs to be "held accountable" for his behavior last year before he is "celebrated" for coming out as gay.
"I know how that feels and I'm very proud of him for [coming out]," Demi said.
"But I do want to make sure everyone respects Cassie who has gone through a lot and been very hurt by Colton. I know she would never have filed that restraining order unless she had no other choice. It must've been terrifying for her."
Demi added, "And I don't want anyone to forget about that. We can praise Colton for being brave and coming out but he needs to be held accountable for what he did to Cassie."
Colton came out as gay on the Wednesday, April 14 episode of Good Morning America in an interview with Robin Roberts.
Colton said he realized he was different at the age of six and came to the conclusion he was gay in high school. But Colton explained he tried to convince himself he was straight by dating women and starring as the Bachelor.
After "hating" himself "for a long time," Colton revealed he finally accepted his sexuality earlier this year and has never been happier or healthier.
An insider told the magazine late last week that Cassie was "still processing" the new and "hasn't really had time to navigate how she feels about it yet."
"Post-breakup was an emotional journey for her and it was painful at times," the insider explained of Cassie.
"She has taken a lot of steps to move on in life and has been focused on her well-being and her happiness. She has not been in communication with Colton."
Colton confirmed during his GMA interview with Robin Roberts that he hasn't spoken "at all" to his ex-girlfriend, whom he met and fell in love with when his The Bachelor season filmed in late 2018.
In new footage of the GMA interview that aired during the Thursday, April 15 episode of ABC's Nightline, Colton revealed of Cassie, "I don't know if I ever will get the chance to sit down and talk with her. I would like to."
As far as what he would tell Cassie if given the opportunity, Colton revealed, "I would like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices."
"I made mistakes at the end of that relationship and I ruined the good memories we had by my actions and what I did to hold on to being straight because I didn't want to look myself in the mirror," Colton continued. "So for that, I'm extremely, extremely sorry."
Prior to their surprising decision to part ways in Spring 2020, Colton had publicly discussed wanting to propose marriage to Cassie in the near future, although Cassie had previously insisted on more than one occasion she wasn't ready to get married or settled down yet.
Despite being gay during their near two-year relationship, Colton confirmed he was definitely in love with Cassie, which made acknowledging he's gay and his decision to come out to his family and the public even "harder and more confusing" for him.
"If I'm being very honest, I loved everything about her and it's hard for me to articulate what my emotions were in going through that relationship with her because I obviously had an internal fight going on," Colton explained.
"I would just say that I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I'm sorry for the pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn't have happened the way it did."
Colton added, "I wish I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."
Colton said he understands why Cassie and his other The Bachelor bachelorettes may not feel misled.
"Do I regret handling [The Bachelor] the way that I did?' I do. I do think I could've handled it better, I'll say that... I just wish I didn't drag people into my own mess of figuring out who I was," Colton admitted.
He added, "I genuinely mean that. But at the same time, I can say 'sorry' to all of those women and also say 'thank you.' Because without them and withoutThe Bachelor franchise, I don't know if I ever would have come out."
Colton -- who faced rumors he was gay while his The Bachelor season was airing -- said on GMA he's now "proud to be gay" and looking forward to meeting a male partner who can challenge him in new ways.
After making it to Becca's Final 4 bachelors and failing to win her heart, The First Time author went on to appear on Bachelor in Paradise's fourth edition and had a fling with The Bachelor alum Tia Booth.