Leah Block failed to woo the heart of Colorado boy Ben Higgins on season 20 of ABC’s “The Bachelor.” In the years following filming, the New York City entrepreneur has dedicated her time promoting hair tools and fitness shakes on Instagram.
Block has remained relatively under the radar until this week when a social media message thrust her into the spotlight.
On Monday, the reality dating show alum sparked some controversy when she tweeted:
“Love & Hip Hop” is a VH1 “docu-series” that follows hip-hop artists and their significant others, often on their less-than-best behavior:
Block’s insinuation that Lindsay’s season is similar to “Love and Hip Hop” comes with some pretty negative and possibly insulting stereotypes.
And Bachelor Nation was not having it.
Many accused the Twitter personality of racism:
Laughing at racist jokes is preeeety racist, Lauren
— holly⚙️ (@glitterauntie) June 20, 2017
Leah Block, you are so racist. Is it due to Nick Viall, was not into you on BIP, but, he was super into Rachel Lindsay?
— Estella Brown (@EstellafbBrown) June 20, 2017
Even fellow “Bachelor” alums wrote Block off as a “joke”:
Said it once I'll say it again Leah Block is a joke!
— Jasmine Goode (@jasminegoode_) June 20, 2017
Lindsay, who is the franchise’s first ever African-American bachelorette and boasts the most diverse cast in “Bachelorette” history, took some time off from her busy schedule to fight back:
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 20, 2017
The Dallas-based attorney inquired if Block would like to meet controversial “Bachelorette” constant Lee Garrett, who was exposed for “racist” tweets earlier in June.Screenshot/Facebook
What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? Wait for it…One has the sense of shame to cover their racist a– faces.
Garrett allegedly called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist” organization, compared Hillary Clinton to O.J. Simpson, and asked on social media, “When is the last time you actually saw a pretty feminist?”
After pushback, Block deleted the tweet and momentarily suspended her Twitter account. She immediately issued the following apology, insisting she was not “trying to offend anyone”:
She then took a two-day hiatus from social media and returned with a lengthy apology on Facebook titled “Starting Now.”
Block acknowledged insensitivity and accepted full “responsibility” for her ignorance, especially since her initial reaction to “attacks” was to be defensive:
In my initial Twitter responses to concerned Bachelor Nation fans, I was defensive. The attacks directed at me felt to be responses to the epidemic of injustice we have towards individuals of marginalized identities — especially the black community. I accept responsibility for my ignorance and as I move forward I will engage in these issues so I can become an informed ally who would never consider that tweet to be funny in the first place.
She added that her tweet contributed to “passive and careless” humor that systematically “stifles” progress in the black community:
I acknowledge that entertaining this kind of humor is a passive and careless action that stifles the progress the black community has made in television and continue to make in this industry. It is vitally important to prioritize these experiences and help destroy the oppressive forces that threaten minority communities. My tweet did neither of those things and I see that as a personal failure.
On Monday’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” Lindsay broke down in front of cameras while discussing the pressures of being the first black lead:
In a teary-eyed confessional to producers, Lindsay shared her fears:
“I already know what people are going to say about me, and judge me for the decisions that I’m making … You have no idea what it’s like to be in this position.”
Lindsay has yet to officially respond to Block’s apology.