As The Bachelorette fans prepare for a crowded four-man field heading into the fantasy suites episode, controversy continues to swirl around one of the remaining contestants, Nashville musician Jed Wyatt. Following a hometown date in which both Wyatt's mother Gina and sister Lily expressed hesitation about whether Wyatt and Hannah Brown should be together, Lily posted on her Instagram story, saying the editing portrayed her in a negative light.
During the date, Lily conveyed concerns to Brown, saying, “I’m very protective over Jed, and making music makes him so happy. And honestly, him potentially falling in love with you, I’m not sure that it’s a good thing.” Meanwhile, Gina revealed doubts to her son about how realistic the whole process is. The irony in these exchanges is that Wyatt himself has already admitted to Brown on a previous one-on-one date that he originally only came on the show to advance his music career. Additionally, his reported ex-girlfriend, Haley Stevens, has claimed the two were dating when he left for Los Angeles to begin filming.
According to Us Weekly, Lily responded to the episode on her Instagram story by saying, “They made me look so mean. I swear y’all our conversation went wayyyy better than this!” While that may be true, it's no surprise a franchise that prides itself on drama chose to air the parts of the date that caused the most suspense and speculation. During the date, many fans on social media assumed that Wyatt's family didn't offer their full support because of the girlfriend he allegedly ditched for the show. He took to Instagram earlier this week to address the vitriol he's faced, writing:
"Threatening letters and phone calls have been sent to our homes... My parents and sister are being verbally attacked in public."
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Hi y’all. Several of you have reached out with messages and questions. Please know I’m not able to answer right now, but as soon as I’m able to, I will. •Until then, I ask that you please understand how much the actions being taken towards myself, my family, the men on the show, and above all, Hannah, are affecting all of our mental and physical health. •It goes beyond what is said online. Threatening letters and phone calls have been sent to our homes. My parents and sister are being verbally attacked in public. I beg you to remember what seems like a harmless action is damaging to real people. •I want to thank all of you who have reached out or reserved judgement until I am able to speak openly and I can only ask for your patience and kindness until then.
While Wyatt ultimately did receive a rose at the end of the episode, which led to the first time all four hometown dates moved on to the next round of dating, Wyatt's predicament isn't unique in The Bachelor/The Bachelorette history. Ten years ago, fellow musician Wes Hayden advanced deep into Jillian Harris' season, bragging to his ouster that he was the "first guy ever on The Bachelorette to make it to the Top 4 with a girlfriend." There have been others since then; most recently when a girl who said she was dating DeMario Jackson on Rachel Lindsay's season showed up to their group date, causing Lindsay to immediately send him home in epic fashion.
With that history still fresh in the minds of plenty of The Bachelorette fans and alums, including The Bachelor's Colton Underwood, Wyatt has not exactly been perceived as the season's antagonist. Despite revelations that question Wyatt's intentions on the show, the 25-year-old has shown a clear aversion to embracing the villain role. Unfortunately for Wyatt and his family, the audience will likely only be privy to whatever the edit unveils in the remaining episodes until Wyatt is able to offer his side of the story.
New episodes of The Bachelorette air Mondays at 8pm on CBS.