Is America ready for an inclusive, LGBTQ+ season of The Bachelor? Colton Underwood, one of the long-running reality dating series' former lead stars, seems to think so.
When asked about the possibility of an LGBTQ+ cast or season lead in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the former Bachelor and star of his own upcoming Netflix docuseries Coming Out Colton, says he thinks it's possible and that the country is currently ready for it to finally happen.
"As far as a LGBTQ+ cast I really don't know. I would hope. I really would," Underwood told ET. "I think it would work. I do think if people gave it a shot, the show could work. I do think, I truly believe that America is ready for it, too."
The former NFL practice squad player publicly came out as gay in an interview earlier this year, saying the pandemic had given him time to acknowledge and embrace his sexuality.
"For me, I've run from myself for a long time, I've hated myself for a long time and...I'm gay," Underwood revealed. "I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing all of that. The next step in all of that is been letting people know."
Underwood first appeared on The Bachelor as a contestant during season 14 in 2018. He later appeared on Bachelor in Paradise season four and was the lead for season 23 of The Bachelor in 2019. His experience on the show ended in controversy. He gave his final rose to (his now ex-girlfriend) Cassie Randolph, but there was no wedding proposal and the pair eventually broke up. Instead of a ring, Randolph later slapped Underwood with a restraining order after he allegedly stalked her (though she eventually dropped the order).
"I do think I could have handled it better," he later said of the experience. "I just wish I wouldn't have dragged people into my own mess of who I was."
Underwood also revealed to ET that he hasn't watched The Bachelor since his own season appearing on the show, but hopes whichever mainstream reality dating series does feature an LGBTQ+ lead and cast all the success in the world.
"I would really hope and wish that whatever show does it has a lot of success," Underwood said.
He also revealed he's feeling far more confident in his sexual identity.
"I don't know what people are going to think of me," Underwood declared. "At this point in my life and my career, I truly mean this, I don't care. I am going to try and be the best person and version of myself that I could be."
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