Bachelor Nation is continuing to grapple with the controversy surrounding Brendan Morais’ time on Bachelor in Paradise. The former Bachelorette contestant appeared in Season 7 of the show and was accused of being there “for the wrong reasons,” namely to boost his following. He left the beach early with Pieper James, who he was rumored to have been in a relationship with prior to the start of the season. While going on Paradise already attached to somebody is not a good look, what’s really caused a stir is the way Brendan treated and spoke about fellow contestant Natasha Parker. A number of people have pointed out Brendan’s disturbing behavior, accusing him of misogyny and colorism. And most recently, the duo behind the Bachelor podcast The Blckchelorettes penned an open letter specifically calling Brendan out for his colorism against Natasha. Elite Daily reached out to Brendan for comment on the letter and accusations, but did not hear back in time for publication.
For the first few weeks of Paradise, Brendan dated Natasha, but Natasha expressed numerous times that she felt he was holding her at arm’s length. As soon as Pieper arrived on the beach, Brendan coupled up with her and implied that Natasha should have been grateful he paid attention to her because she had no other “prospects” on the show.
Following his exit from the show, Brendan released a seven-minute apology video on Sept. 17, which didn’t sit well with many viewers. The Blckchelorettes hosts, Mikayla Bartholomew and Victoria Price, released an open letter to Brendan on their Instagram on Sept. 20, calling him out for the way he treated Natasha like she was “less than” and “unworthy.”
The full text of their open letter can be read in the Instagram post below:
In the letter, Bartholomew and Price wrote:
It’s not about a rule book. It’s the common human decency that you outwardly acknowledged you lack. Even when unintentional, being able to deny wrongdoing, stand your ground in being disrespectful, and saying you purposely withheld information IS FUNDAMENTALLY reckless and unsound.
As Brendan made his exit alongside Pieper in Week 5 of Paradise, he said, “I didn’t want to intentionally mislead anyone. I just withheld information.”
In their open letter, The Blckchelorettes hosts go on to call Brendan out for the colorism he exhibited against Natasha. They wrote:
Even worse, it perpetuates the very racist notion that Natasha is less worthy of love and care. This done to one of the only remaining dark-skinned Black women in Paradise within a franchise that has a tracked history of disrespecting Black women, especially those of us of the darker variety, both on and off screen.
Whether you meant to or not, and we don’t think you’re that unaware, you fed into and actively reaffirmed that Natasha was worthless not only to you, but to anybody who may have been interested in her on that beach. Reminding Black women viewers at home of exactly how we’re treated on a regular basis when it comes to “romantic prospects.” White boys only dating “certain kinds” of Black women, light-skinned or mixed Black women being asserted as more preferential, the fetishization of varied Black ethnicities until you’re considered too Black, too dark, hair too nappy, etc to be attractive. Reminding white viewers that this is normal. Business as usual. And still by proxy of you behaving “sub-optimally,” finagling your partner into being complicit in the utter disregard of someone she should have considered a friend.
Brendan’s Sept. 17 apology video did not acknowledge accusations of colorism within it, and he has not publicly responded to The Blckchelorettes’ letter. At the end of their open letter, Bartholomew and Price wrote that an open letter to Pieper regarding her role this season of Bachelor in Paradise will soon be published.