The Bachelor Season 26 featured some disappointing and disrespectful behavior in its second episode.
Before The Bachelor took a week-long break, viewers watched as cast member Shanae Ankney forced a feud with fellow castmate Elizabeth Corrigan.
Shanae’s contrived issues with Elizabeth led Elizabeth to vulnerably open up about her ADHD, only for Shanae to callously dismiss and mock the neurodivergent disorder.
The Bachelor viewers didn’t get a chance to see Clayton Echard become aware of Shanae’s insensitive comments and address them head-on within the show, which led him to receive flak.
Now, Clayton is speaking out about his thoughts on Shanae’s harmful comments and why he didn’t step in.
Clayton Echard was frustrated with Shanae Ankney and impressed with Elizabeth Corrigan
Clayton Echard spoke with the Bachelor Happy Hour to provide more insight into how he’s been navigating his new role in the spotlight as The Bachelor.
One subject that Clayton felt was most pressing to discuss was the feud between Shanae and Elizabeth that received lots of criticism from viewers for how ADHD was handled on the show.
During the Bachelor Happy Hour interview, Clayton explained, “I didn’t realize that Shanae went after her to the degree that she did about her ADHD.”
Clayton then made it clear what his stance was on Shanae’s actions, saying, “I don’t condone that behavior at all. It was very upsetting for me to watch and realize that someone would make a joke out of someone having a deficit.” Clayton added that he was frustrated by Shanae because he doesn’t “think anybody should be doing that.”
While Clayton was frustrated with Shanae’s behavior he expressed feeling impressed with Elizabeth.
Clayton empathized with Elizabeth saying he “can’t imagine what Elizabeth is going through” after having to deal with Shanae’s rude behavior, especially on national television.
Clayton praised Elizabeth for how she’s been handling the situation, especially the way she is now using her platform to spread awareness and spotlight important causes.
Clayton Echard explains why he didn’t step in
Clayton also felt it important for viewers to understand why he wasn’t immediately involved in the disappointing drama between Shanae and Elizabeth.
Clayton explained that he only saw the extent of what Shanae had said when he was watching it back on television and he “didn’t know the severity of the situation.”
Clayton continued to reiterate that if he’s not on screen then he’s probably not in the vicinity and thus not privy to everything going on with the women.
While Clayton still has time to learn of the drama in the coming episodes, he’s made it clear he does not support Shanae’s behavior.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.