"I never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people's lives. I did not mean any harm by any of it. My Instagram 'likes' were not a true reflection of me and my morals," Garrett, 29, wrote in a Thursday statement on social media.
Garrett, an apparent staunch conservative, has been slammed for mocking feminists, the transgender community -- such as Caitlyn Jenner's transition -- undocumented immigrants, and Parkland shooting survivors. His "likes" on Instagram memes were as recent as November 2017.
"To those who I have hurt and offended: This is all new to me. I went on the Bachelorette for the adventure and possibility of falling in love, not fame. I did not know what to expect once the show aired," Garrett wrote in his post.
"I am sorry to those who I offended, and I also take full responsibility for my 'likes' on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive."
The medical sales representative from Reno, NV, continued, "Garret_yrigs12 was my former Instagram handle and I decided to take it down and start fresh because I have learned an extremely valuable lesson and am taking steps to grow, become more educated, and be a better version of myself."
"I am not perfect," he admitted, "and I will never be anywhere close, but now I will always be more informed and aware of what I am liking and supporting, not just on Instagram, but in life."
Shortly after criticism began circulating last week that Garrett is "homophobic," "racist," "heartless" and "sexist," he made his Instagram account private on May 24 and then deleted it entirely. He created a brand new account days later.
"I am not the negative labels people are associating me with. For those who do know me, I am a sincere, genuine, loving, light-hearted, open-minded and non-judgemental individual," Garrett insisted.
"I like to make new friends with anyone I meet and want everyone to find their happiness. I love to laugh often and enjoy seeing others do the same. I hope that some day you can get to know the real me and the man that I am."
Despite taking down his original Instagram page, former The Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey focused the spotlight on the issue by posting screenshots of the material on her own social media. (Ashley competed for Brad Womack's heart on The Bachelor's fifteenth season in 2011).
"Let my mistakes be a lesson for those who mindlessly double tap images, memes. and videos on any social media content that could be many things including hurtful, degrading, and dehumanizing," Garrett concluded in his statement.
"I do not want my social media to define who I am, and I will take better care moving forward to support all walks of life. Again, I sincerely apologize and am sorry for any hurt, damage, or offense I may have caused," he concluded his lengthy post."
"I just want everyone to watch it back and to get to know these guys and to get to know me for who we really are and not social media," Becca said during Thursday's ON with Mario Lopez broadcast, "because that's just a small glimpse into a person and it's not always reflective of who they are."
Becca also told Entertainment Tonight, "I can't fault on anyone for what they believe and who's to say that anyone is truly what they believe in if they just double tap. I can't speak to that because that's just not me. I am a strong woman and I do believe in certain things, but again, that's what's so great about our country -- everyone is entitled to their own opinions."
The 28-year-old Minnesota publicist supported Hillary Clinton in the last election and feels passionate about the equal rights movements, as she recently participated in the Women's March, for example.