The Bachelor Season 23 leading man, Colton Underwood, officially came out as a gay man back in April 2021.
This news came as a shock to many, with some wondering who all knew about Colton’s true identity before the public announcement.
Billy Eichner has recently clarified that, despite making a now ironically accurate joke on Colton’s season of The Bachelor, he was not aware Colton was gay at the time.
Billy Eichner suggests Colton Underwood could be the first gay Bachelor
Around the time of Colton’s revealing GMA interview, a video clip resurfaced of Billy Eichner guest-starring on Colton Underwood’s season during a group date.
While chatting with Colton, Billy made a joke that Colton should look into being the first gay bachelor. The video went viral due to Colton’s flustered response to Billy’s statement, which now takes on more meaning in retrospect.
Many marveled over the fact that, years later, Billy’s playful assessment of Colton proved to be true. However, in an interview with US Weekly, Billy set the record straight.
Billy Eichner told US Weekly, “I truly had no idea he was gay when I shot The Bachelor.”
Billy explained that he isn’t close to Colton, saying, “I don’t really know Colton well…[but] the day he came out, you know, I tweeted my support for him.” Colton actually responded to Billy’s congratulatory tweet and told Billy that he both loves him and loves being gay.
It’s common for celebrities to make appearances on The Bachelor and, while some stars are super fans of the show, Billy was never an avid watcher of the show.
Having not seen much of Colton on the show, Billy shared, “I don’t really watch The Bachelor…I never suspected he was gay, but you know, I’m happy for him. Everyone is on their own journey when it comes to coming out.”
Colton Underwood comes under fire
Billy acknowledged that his coming out journey was quite different than Colton’s public journey. Billy came out as an undergrad and had a family that really supported him, whereas Colton’s coming out became national news and sparked up a fair share of controversy.
When Colton Underwood came out on national television, the public was split between supporting him and also still wanting to hold him accountable for the harm he caused to his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph, which he made no direct mention of in his interview.
Some argued that Colton, who no longer associates with The Bachelor franchise, should have an opportunity to grow and be better than his past. Billy Eichner is also someone who expressed rooting for Colton to continue to evolve into someone who happily embraces their identity.
The Bachelor is currently on hiatus on ABC.