Bachelor alum Victoria Fuller is speaking out once again about the white lives matter controversy she's been linked with. The reality star, who is currently one of the top four women on Peter Weber's season of the TV series, previously came under fire after eagle-eyed fans saw she'd previously been involved in a We Love Marlins campaign with the offensive catch phrase "white lives matter." Following the news that her Cosmopolitan cover with Weber was pulled as a result of the controversy, Victoria Fuller’s apology to Bachelor Nation addresses the issue in an official statement on her Instagram Story.
Fans who've been following along with the controversy know that Instagram account @BachelorClues first unveiled the offensive photoshoot for a marine conservation group, which uses the slogans "White lives matter" and "Blue lives matter" in its campaigns, back in early January with an Instagram post.
At the time, Fuller defended her actions in the comments section, saying that the photoshoot had been taken out of context.
"Hello bachelor clues followers!" she wrote. "It would be nice for you to gather all facts before jumping to bash someone. The company ‘We Love Marlins’ is in support of catching white, blue, and black marlins & releasing them back into the wild. In regards to a sensitive topic, I come from a VERY large fishing town where Marlin tournaments are held every year! Glad to clear this up…."
However, she then apologized and allowed that she could "definitely see how this could be offensive" and she hadn't intended to "lessen this matter" after a fan called her out.
"Even if this was about marlins, it plays on the ‘white lives matter phrase which is overtly racist," one Instagram user retorted. "You’re better off apologizing than trying to defend it. TBH without knowing you, this comes across as very inventive. You got paid to model for a company that supports confederate flag production. Apologize and cut ties with this company is my advice."
Her apology aside, Cosmopolitan pulled a digital cover that would have featured her and current Bachelor Peter Weber, saying, "Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color."
On Saturday, Feb. 15, the controversial contestant took to her Instagram Story to fully apologize for wearing a t-shirt with the slogan and said she hoped to be "shown grace" as she moves forward.
"I would like to sincerely apologize for my involvement with We Love Marlins," Fuller wrote in the post. "My intention was only to support an endangered species. I want to say that I unequivocally reject the beliefs of the white lives matter movement or any propaganda that supports racism of any kind. I would like to specifically apologize to people of color that are affected by racism daily. It was never my intention to add fuel to the racial fire in this country."
Fuller concluded, "This has truly been an educational moment for me and I hope to be a voice against racism moving forward. I hope I can be shown grace as I navigate through this process."
Weber has also spoken out about the controversy surrounding Fuller, saying that he feels like "she's a good person [and] she’s got a lot of endearing qualities."
In the interview with Build Series, he added, "I just hope that people can form their opinion on her based on what they see between the two of us and her time on the show. She’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect, but, yeah that’s all I can really say on that."
With Fuller issuing an official apology, it seems like this saga may have finally reached its end.