'Bachelor' contestants address cyberbullying by sharing their worst messages

The Bachelor: Women Tell All episode aired Monday night and covered all the usual bases from the biggest moments of the season to the lingering drama between the women. But in the final moments of the episode, the show took a different turn, when host Chris Harrison brought out former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay to address a very serious matter – cyberbullying.

"I'd like to talk about something that's been going on for the last several seasons, something that is not okay," said Harrison. "There is so much passion out there in Bachelor Nation, and it's not always positive. There's some negative criticism. I completely understand that, but unfortunately, there is a line that has been crossed, and so it is time to address that."

When Lindsay was cast as ABC's first black Bachelorette in 2017, she knew it would be hard. But on Monday, Lindsay said that the online hate has gotten so much worse since her time on the show "because people have become so comfortable being mean, and meaner than ever on social media." Lindsay said that the only way to fix the problem is to acknowledge it. So to show viewers just how bad the hate on social media is, Lindsay read out some of the most shocking tweets that the women have received this season.

11 PHOTOS
New 'Bachelor' star Peter Weber
See Gallery
New 'Bachelor' star Peter Weber
THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season Finale Part 1" - Hannah's love story continues in Greece as she still has an agonizing decision to make. Which of the three extraordinary men she is falling in love with - Jed, Peter or Tyler C. - will she send home? Find out on night one of the two-night, history-making, live season finale event, MONDAY, JULY 29 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season Finale Part 1" - Hannah's love story continues in Greece as she still has an agonizing decision to make. Which of the three extraordinary men she is falling in love with - Jed, Peter or Tyler C. - will she send home? Find out on night one of the two-night, history-making, live season finale event, MONDAY, JULY 29 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN, PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season Finale Part 1" - Hannah's love story continues in Greece as she still has an agonizing decision to make. Which of the three extraordinary men she is falling in love with - Jed, Peter or Tyler C. - will she send home? Find out on night one of the two-night, history-making, live season finale event, MONDAY, JULY 29 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) CHRIS HARRISON, HANNAH BROWN, PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season Finale Part 1" - Hannah's love story continues in Greece as she still has an agonizing decision to make. Which of the three extraordinary men she is falling in love with - Jed, Peter or Tyler C. - will she send home? Find out on night one of the two-night, history-making, live season finale event, MONDAY, JULY 29 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images)PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "1505" - The amped-up emotions of last week continue as Hannah pulls two bitter rivals aside to try to get to the real truth behind the bad blood between them. Her efforts to mediate backfire with the rose ceremony looming. But before the first rose is even handed out, a shocking disappointment leaves Hannah questioning herself and the remaining men. Trying to leave the drama stateside, she embarks on an overseas adventure, greeting her suitors in Inverness, Scotland. Hannah and her first one-on-one date explore the local culture, and the man decides to take a risk and share his deep feelings for her with a look to the future. Will it be too much too soon? A group of 10 suitors go native - wearing Scottish kilts - to compete in the first-ever "Bachelorette Highland Games. The after-party that night turns into a mix of sexy make-out sessions and serious conversations. Hannah's last one-on-one date of the week is filled with crazy drama and she faces an agonizing decision that could cost her a happy ending on "The Bachelorette," on a special night, TUESDAY, JUNE 11 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Mark Bourdillon via Getty Images) PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "1504" - Hannah takes her journey to find love on the road as she and the remaining 15 men travel to Boston and the beautiful seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island. Jed takes in the city sights with Hannah, shopping at Quincy Market, strolling in Boston Common and lifting a pint at the iconic "Cheers" bar. But the Bachelorette has a real surprise for her date: a visit to the Auerbach Center, where the 17-time World Champion Boston Celtics practice, for an opportunity to play a pickup game with Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. Moving on to Newport, 13 men get down and dirty, competing in a fierce but exciting rugby game at Fort Adam, home of the champion Newport Rugby Football Club, which sends one man to the hospital. Later that night, two men go head-to-head and Hannah is caught in the middle. Who is telling the truth? Will she follow her heart or her head? As she heads into her next one-on-one date, still upset, her tall, handsome suitor provides the needed support and comfort. That night, they dance to the music of country star Jake Owen, who sings his hit song "Made For You," which leaves them to wonder if, indeed, they are a match. At an explosive cocktail party, two rivals take turns throwing each other under the bus, even as Hannah attempts to focus on her blossoming relationships. Will she keep both or will one make an early exit? The other men are left to wonder as Hannah walks out in frustration on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, JUNE 3 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Robert Clark via Getty Images) KEVIN, HANNAH BROWN, PETER, GRANT
THE BACHELORETTE - "1504" - Hannah takes her journey to find love on the road as she and the remaining 15 men travel to Boston and the beautiful seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island. Jed takes in the city sights with Hannah, shopping at Quincy Market, strolling in Boston Common and lifting a pint at the iconic "Cheers" bar. But the Bachelorette has a real surprise for her date: a visit to the Auerbach Center, where the 17-time World Champion Boston Celtics practice, for an opportunity to play a pickup game with Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. Moving on to Newport, 13 men get down and dirty, competing in a fierce but exciting rugby game at Fort Adam, home of the champion Newport Rugby Football Club, which sends one man to the hospital. Later that night, two men go head-to-head and Hannah is caught in the middle. Who is telling the truth? Will she follow her heart or her head? As she heads into her next one-on-one date, still upset, her tall, handsome suitor provides the needed support and comfort. That night, they dance to the music of country star Jake Owen, who sings his hit song "Made For You," which leaves them to wonder if, indeed, they are a match. At an explosive cocktail party, two rivals take turns throwing each other under the bus, even as Hannah attempts to focus on her blossoming relationships. Will she keep both or will one make an early exit? The other men are left to wonder as Hannah walks out in frustration on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, JUNE 3 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Robert Clark/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN, JOHN PAUL JONES, MATTEO, LUKE P., PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "1503" - Eight men get the surprise of their life as husband and wife actors Jason Biggs ("American Pie" movies, "Orange Is the New Black") and Jenny Mollen (TV series "Angel" and "Crash") take them to a birthing class with hilarious results. Which one of Hannah's suitors will endure the experience of simulating childbirth? The Bachelorette gets a real-life health scare and one bachelor comes to her rescue. In return, she rewards him with a private concert by Danish pop and soul band Lukas Graham, performing their hit, "Love Someone." Hannah brings another group of men on a professional photo shoot where they are shocked to find that they are posing with professional models-who are adorable animals. The curious Bachelorette once again employs Demi to share with her what the men do when she is not around, reminiscent of the new Illumination Entertainment film from the creators of "Despicable Me," "The Secret Life of Pets 2." Will the guys pass Demi's test? And later, will one man spin out of control and out of Hannah's life? The men battle to get a rose, whatever it takes, on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, MAY 27 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (John Fleenor via Getty Images) PETER, HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELORETTE - "1503" - Eight men get the surprise of their life as husband and wife actors Jason Biggs ("American Pie" movies, "Orange Is the New Black") and Jenny Mollen (TV series "Angel" and "Crash") take them to a birthing class with hilarious results. Which one of Hannah's suitors will endure the experience of simulating childbirth? The Bachelorette gets a real-life health scare and one bachelor comes to her rescue. In return, she rewards him with a private concert by Danish pop and soul band Lukas Graham, performing their hit, "Love Someone." Hannah brings another group of men on a professional photo shoot where they are shocked to find that they are posing with professional models-who are adorable animals. The curious Bachelorette once again employs Demi to share with her what the men do when she is not around, reminiscent of the new Illumination Entertainment film from the creators of "Despicable Me," "The Secret Life of Pets 2." Will the guys pass Demi's test? And later, will one man spin out of control and out of Hannah's life? The men battle to get a rose, whatever it takes, on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, MAY 27 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (John Fleenor via Getty Images) PETER, HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELORETTE - Hannah Brown caught the eye of Colton Underwood early on during the 23rd season of "The Bachelor," showing him, and all of America, what Alabama Hannah is made of - a fun country girl who is unapologetically herself. After being sent home unexpectedly, Hannah took the time to reflect on her breakup, gaining a powerful understanding of her desire to be deeply and fiercely loved. Now, with a newfound sense of self and a little southern charm, she is more ready than ever to find her true love on the milestone 15th season of "The Bachelorette." (Ed Herrera/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) PETER
THE BACHELORETTE - "1501" - It's a tractor...It's a plane...It's the self-appointed king of the jungle! Hannah's search for fierce love is matched with fierce competition as one hopeful bachelor sets a high bar by jumping the fence, while another pops out from the limo, in true beast fashion. At the end of the day, whether he is a golf pro looking to be Hannah's hole-in-one, a Box King seeking a woman who checks all his boxes, or a man with a custom-made pizza delivery, everyone wants a piece of Hannah's heart on the highly anticipated 15th season of "The Bachelorette," premiering MONDAY, MAY 13 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (John Fleenor/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) PETER, HANNAH BROWN
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

As Lindsay read through a few explicit tweets, the women and audience members were overcome with emotion. Lindsay stated, "I'm, like, shaking as I'm reading this, because it's shocking, it's uncomfortable. I know it's uncomfortable for you to see. Just imagine how uncomfortable it is to get this in your comments and your DMs every day, every week, every month."

All 17 women from this season of The Bachelor raised their hand when Harrison asked who among them have faced true hate on social media. 

"It's literally that bad to where you have to try to figure out a way to block it out so you don't see it on a day-to-day so it literally, like, brings you down," said Shiann Lewis. 

Tammy Ly shared, "I was so afraid to even pick up my phone, because people were saying such nasty things to me." The 24-year-old house flipper from New York revealed that she was getting death threats sent to her work email. Ly continued through tears, "My work email, saying that, 'Hey, I want to buy a house,' but it's actually a paragraph of how I should go kill myself. 

"When it comes to the point of attacking someone for who their mother and father is, and because of the color of their skin, that's where it has to stop," said Sydney Hightower.

27-year-old contestant Alexa Caves shared, "A lot of the comments that I got right away off the show was, um, about my hair and my choice of being natural. And it sucks, and it hurts."

However, in the end, the women explained that they've also received messages from people saying how important it is to have representation on the show, and that the love has inspired them to be role models for other women and young girls. 

Lindsay then praised the women for having the courage to share their stories, as she said, "As someone who's been in your shoes, I know how much courage it takes to put yourself out there to tell your story. I just want to remind you guys that you're not alone in anything that you're going through, and I just want you to also know that these people who hide behind their phones, and their computers, and these smart devices, they don't have even a fraction of the guts that you have to stand up here today and face these people."

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

 

Read Full Story