The Bachelor: Women Tell All special had Greer Blitzer in the hot seat during one segment. After asking about her breakup with Zach Shallcross on the show, host Jesse Palmer addressed Greer’s recent blackface controversy, which made headlines when The Bachelor began airing this season. Greer came under fire for previous social media posts where she defended a friend’s decision to pose in blackface as part of a costume. The Bachelor franchise has been called out for not addressing topics related to race and controversy in the past, which Jesse acknowledged during the special.
“The truth is, as a franchise, we’ve done a very poor job in the past of addressing serious topics head-on,” Jesse admitted to Greer. “We’re not going to miss that opportunity here tonight. I know you have given a subsequent apology on social media and online, but I do want to give you the opportunity to address this and share your experience with us.”
Although Greer was admittedly nervous, she took ownership for her racist actions. “I’ve been wanting to address this. I don’t want to sweep it under the rug,” she shared. “What I failed to mention in my apology was that what happened was racist. It’s not about the intent, it’s about the impact. This acquaintance of mine that I knew performing blackface was racist, me defending it was racist, my ignorance was racist. I’m just so ashamed. I’m deeply sorry that I hurt the Black community. I can’t go back in time. All I can do is just try to be better now and try to be better in my future.”
Jesse revealed that Greer had met with a professor and diversity/inclusion specialist, Dr. Banks, following the controversy. “She brought to my attention that it’s so important to be open-minded,” Greer explained. “It’s so important to question things and ask and not just do without thinking. Before you speak, think. Before you say something that could hurt someone else. And do your research. So I looked up lectures, really wanted to dive deep into the history of blackface and understand why it was wrong and why it was offensive. I realized it was a symbolism for dehumanizing the Black community, and so what I said was wrong. Defending that girl was racist and I want to take that accountability. I don’t want to excuse it.”
Dr. Banks was actually in the audience at Women Tell All, as well, and Jesse opened the floor up to her to continue the conversation. “Thanks for having me because I think it’s important to name and give voice when these sort of issues come up. When racism comes up, be willing to name it,” Dr. Banks said. “The reality is, we can’t nice our way out of racism. We can say the right thing, but what are we going to do? What actions are we going to take? So that’s why it’s really important to not just be performative, but to educate ourselves and be willing to understand the history behind actions and be willing to do something different.”