Colton Underwood, a former leader in, came out as gay in a very public way this week in an interview with Good Morning America host Robin Roberts. As the news spread, so did reports that Netflix is working with Underwood on a reality show that follows his life as an openly gay man. “I’m gay. And I accepted that earlier this year and have been prosecuting it,” Underwood told Roberts on Wednesday. “I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been in my life.”
Some people face considerable obstacles on their way out of the closet, and Underwood shared his. “I’ve run from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” he told Roberts.
The response to Underwood’s reveal has been largely supportive, with many, including Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy, who is openly gay, and alumni and producers of the popular long-running dating reality show, applauded Underwood. 29 years old for his honesty and sending messages of pride and solidarity.
“I am very proud of you for finally being able to share and live your truth.” Tayshia Adams tweeted, who competed on her season of the show and went on to star in her own season of The Bachelorette, another show in the ABC reality dating franchise.
But Underwood’s alleged past treatment of Cassie Randolph, the woman he chose in his bachelor stint, has complicated reactions. After the couple’s breakup in 2020, 25-year-old Randolph received a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. She said she had placed a tracking device in her car, sent her harassing text messages, and showed up uninvited at her Los Angeles apartment and her parents’ home. According to TMZ, he later dismissed the restraining order and asked for the police investigation to be dropped.
Following Underwood’s reveal about GMA, Variety reported that Netflix is planning a reality show that looks at Underwood’s life as an openly gay man, and a Change.org petition is now circulating urging Netflix to cancel those plans. The petition has more than 10,000 signatures as of Friday morning. Online petitions have no real power, but they serve as a barometer of public opinion.
“Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative and dangerous behavior,” says the author of the petition.
One of the petitioners wrote: “I am a survivor of harassment, and it disgusts me to see someone like that with a platform as if they had not done anything wrong. I will absolutely cancel my Netflix subscription if you continue with this.”
The petition also links to a Reddit thread that provides a link to documents in the Randolph-Underwood case.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a representative for Underwood said the reality star had no comment.
Here’s more on Colton Underwood and the complex reactions to his coming out and the possibility of him getting his own show.
Who is Colton Underwood?
Colton Underwood was born in Indianapolis and raised in Illinois, where he played college football at Illinois State University. The Bachelor promoted him as a professional soccer player, but if you’ve never heard of him, there’s a reason. Underwood was hired as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers in 2014, but resigned before the season began. He briefly played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders practice teams, but never appeared in an actual NFL game.
His love life brought him much more fame than his sports career. Even before The Bachelor, Underwood dated gymnast Aly Raisman, a gold medalist at the Olympics. That relationship also made headlines, and the couple even attended the Golden Globes together in 2017. They broke up later that year.
His single life
Underwood first appeared as a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette in 2018. She was eventually eliminated, but appeared again on the franchise spin-off show Bachelor in Paradise. By now he had become a fan favorite, and the show’s producers cast him in the title role of The Bachelor for the show’s 2019 season, promoting him as “The Virgin Bachelor.” Underwood chose California speech pathologist Cassie Randolph, but did not propose in the final.
Post show police participation
Underwood and Randolph dated for a year before their breakup in May 2020. She filed for the restraining order that fall, before dismissing it and calling for the police investigation to be dropped.
“We were both able to come to a private agreement to address any of Cassie’s concerns,” Underwood told TMZ at the time. “I don’t think Cassie did anything wrong by requesting the restraining orders and I also think she acted in good faith.”
Dating and cassie
Underwood told Good Morning America that Randolph did not know he was gay. He also said that he would like to apologize to his ex-girlfriend, and although he did not address the restraining order directly, he admitted: “I made mistakes at the end of that relationship.” After the interview, many on Reddit expressed their support for Randolph and shared their own stories of harassment from former partners.
Some also expressed their offense at Underwood by suggesting any link between past harassing behavior and confusion about his sexuality.
“As a gay man,” wrote one Reddit user, “I find all of this abominable. I spent a good deal of time in the closet and accepted my sexuality. It is still something I am working on and proud of.
“That his behavior is excused because he was gay is wrong. Paint this picture that locked up gay men are somehow what, unstable but cured coming out of the closet? That his actions were excusable because he was gay? I am confused by the narrative”. . Insults me “.
If the reality show happens, a source told Variety that it will focus on Underwood’s love life and discovering his sexuality as a gay man. Us magazine reported that Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy was seen filming with Underwood.in 2015.
Underwood’s coming out of the closet can even be traced back to the show that made him famous. Anonymous Bachelor sources told TMZ that Underwood’s coming out of the closet has sparked an internal discussion among the show’s producers about the possibility of choosing a gay season of the show.