'Bachelor' Colton Underwood Reacts to Contestant Tracy Shapoff's Offensive Tweets

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It didn't take long for Colton Underwood's Bachelor season to see its first scandal. 

Just one day after the show's new cast was announced last month, contestant Tracy Shapoff found herself apologizing after old, offensive tweets of hers were resurfaced. Now, Underwood is speaking out on the controversy. 

"I don't believe in whatever Tracy liked and tweeted at the time," the 26-year-old former NFL pro said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "[But] I think that's a growing thing." 

In a lengthy message posted to Instagram last month, Shapoff expressed her remorse over tweeting "extremely hurtful words," which included racist comments, fat-shaming remarks, using the R-word, and seemingly even slamming The Bachelor. "I take full responsibility for my tweets and will use this as a learning experience. I hope that we can continue to spread love and kindness in the world," she said. 

Shapoff's controversy isn't the first time The Bachelor franchise has been engulfed in social media scandal, however. Last summer, Bachelorette Becca Kufrin's fiance, Garrett Yrigoyen, apologized for liking offensive memes on Instagram. The summer before, a contestant on Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay's season, Lee Garrett, apologized on After the Final Rosefor previous racist tweets. 

As for whether the Bachelor should do a better job of vetting contestants, Underwood said "it's not up for me to decide." 

"As the Bachelor, it’s a good opportunity for me to get to really know these women and form my own opinions of them without really seeing that. That is a gift and a curse at times," he noted.

"As far as the process goes, you know, social media is becoming a challenge for every workplace. You're seeing it all over the world and in our society coming up, and everybody has differences in this world and like I said, but the bottom line is [the Bachelor changing their casting process is] not up to me. That’s not my department or anything I need to have an opinion in."

Former Bachelor Ben Higgins also recently weighed in on the show's casting process during a recent interview with ET. Watch below. 

The Bachelor returns with a three-hour live premiere Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here

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