'Bachelorette' finalist Erich Schwer apologizes after old blackface photo draws flak online

'What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance,' Schwer wrote on Instagram

'Bachelorette' finalist Erich Schwer apologizes after old blackface photo draws flak online
'The Bachelorette' finalist Erich Schwer is in trouble after an old photo of him wearing blackface surfaced online (mberrmarie1/Reddit and Erich Schwer/Instagram)
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Netizens were enraged after an old photo of ‘Bachelorette’ star Erich Schwer surfaced on Reddit, showing him wearing blackface. Tipped as the potential winner of this season’s ‘The Bachelorette', the 29-year-old is now facing strong criticism online. Schwer is seen wearing a black face, an afro wig, and a colorful shirt paired with skin coated in dark cosmetics in his high school yearbook. The now-viral Reddit post also showed a caption, quoting Erich Schwer, “It was swell.”

The real estate analyst was quick to apologize and went on to make an official statement on Instagram on Thursday, Sept 8. “I wholeheartedly apologize for the insensitive photo of me in Blackface from my high school yearbook that has been circulating,” he captioned a photo of a blank black square, adding, “What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance.” "I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior,” he continued. ”I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”

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However, many were left unconvinced. One follower wrote under his post, "I get Erich apologized for his blackface in high school but let’s be honest if that photo never resurfaced he would have never apologized #bachelorette​.” Other fans withdrew their previous support for Erich, with one tweeting, "Upon recent news of Erich doing blackface. I take it back. I can't support such nonsense."

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However, many fans also lauded his apology. One fan wrote, “We are all learning as we go. It’s important that we grow but I think people need to worry about their own growth before worrying about others. The past and history can be a beautiful thing and we learn from it. We are all only human.” Another wrote, “Takes a man to talk about his mistakes. guys who have met you know what kind of person you’ve been.”
 
The Gabby Windey and Eric Schwer bond grew stronger after he introduced her to his now-late father on an emotional hometown date. A recent teaser of the show hinted at a possible complication in the relationship between the pair. The official broadcaster/producer of the show, ABC and Warner Bros, are yet to comment.

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