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'The Bachelorette': Producers slammed for Jay's straitjacket, fans say it mocks 'people with mental illness'

'Omg he’s still in the straight jacket. This is so insulting to anyone with mental illness. Why did the producers allow this?' an angry fan wrote
Jay (ABC)
Jay (ABC)

The contestants of the 'Bachelor Nation' go to great lengths to form a striking first impression when they step outside of the limousine for the first time. From wearing animal suits to dressing up in costumes, they leave no stone unturned to ensure that the bachelor or bachelorette will remember them when the time for handing out the first impression rose is around. Things were no different during Season 16 of 'The Bachelorette' either. As Clare Crawley excitedly awaited outside the villa waiting to meet and welcome her suitors, she was greeted by a man dressed in a pregnancy suit to a man in a straitjacket.

Jay, a suitor appeared on the show wearing a straitjacket and explained his choice of the outfit by pointing out how he was going "crazy" while quarantining and waiting to meet her. While Clare didn't think much of Jay's outfit and his ableist language, fans certainly had some strong feelings about it. As the evening went on, the men who earlier showed up in costumes, changed back into their suit and began socializing amongst themselves or waiting for an opportunity to talk to Clare. However, Jay seemed to have no such intentions.

Jay and Clare Crawley (ABC)

For the better part of the evening, Jay sat by himself in his straitjacket. He even posed for the official group picture in his straitjacket. Fans were further annoyed by it and called him out for making a mockery of mental health, and even slammed the producers for allowing him to do it. A fan tweeted, "@BacheloretteABC your producers need to do a better job of vetting contestants on what they can and cannot wear. Allowing someone to show up in a straight jacket and make a joke out of mental health treatment is truly appalling. Do better. #TheBachelorette." "Omg he’s still in the straight jacket. THIS IS SO INSULTING TO ANYONE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS. Why did the producers allow this?! #TheBachelorette," wondered a fan. "Not that one guy making fun of mental health because he “went crazy” during quarantine and showed up in a straight jacket  #TheBachelorette," shared a fan.




Jay somehow managed to make an impression on Clare, for he got a rose from her. But fans felt that he should have been eliminated for his tone-deaf outfit choice. A fan expressed, "When someone dresses up in a straight jacket as a gimmick I am not impressed. Mental health is not a joke & those psychiatric facilities violated human rights. Get out of here. #TheBachelorette #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek." "To the man who showed up in a straight jacket, mental health is not a joke. you can see yourself out #TheBachelorette," commented an annoyed fan. "Team Keep Jay in the Straitjacket and Send Him Home A$AP. #TheBachelorette," declared a fan.




'The Bachelorette' Season 16 airs every Tuesday at 8/7c only on ABC.