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Dear members of the Bachelor Cinematic Universe: If you make your living posting photos of your “aspirational lifestyle,” maybe don’t apply for government aid.
Several former contestants on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” who now work as influencers received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to records maintained by ProPublica and reported by Vulture Monday. You know, that government program meant to help small businesses survive the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tayshia Adams, who’s co-hosting the current season of “The Bachelorette” after starring as the Bachelorette in 2020, got a $20,833 PPP loan for her LLC. Arie Luyendyk Jr., an ex-Bachelor whose biggest contribution to society is probably that time he refused to leave a woman alone after breaking up with her, also received a $20,830 PPP loan, alongside his wife Lauren Burnham Luyendyk. Their shared, Arizona-based LLC is called “Instagram Husband, LLC,” which honestly sounds about right. And Dale Moss, who won Clare Crawley’s 2020 “Bachelorette” season, also got a loan of $20,833 for his LLC, although Vulture reported that he had yet to receive the money.
The Luyendyks and Moss didn’t respond to Vulture’s request for comment, so who knows whether they got the loans for “the right reasons.” (Maybe the Luyendyks were in Hawaii, in that new house they just bought?) But a spokesperson for Adams told Vulture in a statement that Adams had used the government money to hire an employee.
“As a business owner, television and podcast host, and brand ambassador, Tayshia obtained a PPP loan that enabled her to hire an employee, to whom she offers market-based pay and benefits,” said the spokesperson. “Since exhausting the PPP loan funds, but in light of the growing economy, Tayshia has committed to retaining her employee for the foreseeable future.”
The records describe these LLCs as meant for “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers,” which sure sounds like a much fancier way of saying “influencers.” But another former Bachelor, Colton Underwood, also got a PPP loan—but for his charity, the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, which helps kids living with cystic fibrosis. His loan was just for $11,355.
"Let me save you the clickbait headline," Underwood, who recently came out as gay, wrote in an Instagram story Monday. "My nonprofit filed for a PPP because we cancelled our charity events for this year. We help people living with CF. I don't make a dime from my nonprofit…please stop lumping me in with the Bachelor. I don't fuck with them anymore, they don't fuck with me. Point blank. Thanks."
Since the news broke, several other “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” alumni have weighed in on the controversy. Jason Tartick—a former “Bachelorette” contestant who’s currently dating ex-Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe—said on Instagram that he didn’t apply for a PPP loan.
“I could’ve, because events and speaking pulled back. But as events and speaking pulled back, social media spend was increased, so I just decided not to do it,” Tartick said, adding, “There was more opportunity and it didn’t feel right. And so for reasons like these DMs, I’m glad I didn’t.”
Even Nick Viall, who took a turn as the Bachelor after starring on multiple seasons of “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” showed up to the social media fray with an unsurprisingly shifty take.
“What’s legal isn’t always right. What’s illegal isn’t always wrong,” tweet Viall, who once lambasted a Bachelorette because she “made love” to him when she wasn’t in love with him. (Women! Doing what they want with their bodies! The horror!) “Don’t know everyone’s situation, but my gut tells any alum applying for a PPP is both savvy and shitty. Interesting debate.”