A contestant on The Bachelor has been stripped of her Cosmopolitan cover after it was discovered she had modelled “White Lives Matter” apparel.
Victoria Fuller, 26, recently won the coveted cover spot in the latest episode of the hit reality TV dating show. A challenge on the show required her to do a swimsuit shoot with bachelor Peter Weber that was judged by Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Jessica Pels.
While the winner was promised the digital cover, Pels decided to backtrack on the deal and explained her decision in a statement.
“When it came time for me to choose the winner of the challenge — whose prize was a digital cover of Cosmo — all I knew about the contestants were their first names and the energy they conveyed through the camera lens,” she wrote.
“It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found out that the woman I’d chosen had, in her past, modelled in an ad campaign wearing White Lives Matter attire.”
In her statement, Pels noted that the merchandise Fuller had modelled was in support of the Marlin Lives Matter organization, a charity the Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief said “focused on preventing white and blue marlin from being overfished, which used ‘white lives matter’ and ‘blue lives matter’ messaging on its promotional shirts and hats.”
“In my view, the nature of the organization is neither here nor there — both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic,” Pels said.
The Cosmo editor-in-chief finished off by saying this kind of messaging “does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand.”
Photos of Fuller in the merchandise were first brought to the attention of the public by Twitter user @rchlmllnd, who tweeted on Jan. 6: “victoria f modeled for a white lives matter clothing brand she’s gotta go.”
In a photo accompanying the tweet, Fuller is pictured wearing a blue baseball cap that reads “WLM.” A second photo features a man wearing a T-shirt with a pseudo-Confederate flag on the back. The flag is a symbol of racism and white supremacy.
The brand’s Instagram account, @wlmapparel_clothing, is no longer active.
Global News reached out to ABC for comment but didn’t hear back by the time of publication.
While Fuller and representatives of The Bachelor have yet to make a statement, Weber addressed the incident on Tuesday, saying he hadn’t been aware of the photos.
“She’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect,” Weber told HuffPost.