Was there a connection between The Bachelorette releasing men's headshots early and not all of them making the cut on Hannah Brown's season? Fans seem to think so.
ABC released headshots of the 33 men who "could" be fighting for Brown's heart on March 13, before she had started filming. Three of those men didn't make it to night one and one suitor, Scott Anderson, was sent home by Brown before the first rose ceremony after she was tipped off to him having a girlfriend.
Another man, Tyler Gwozdz, was quietly and mysteriously removed by production on episode three, after having received Brown's first one-on-one date the episode prior. The decision to boot Gwozdz from the show reportedly came among online accusations about his past behavior, leading some fans to suggest that producers were paying attention to comments online. Some even suggested the show posted headshots early as a way for fans to dig into contestants' pasts, beyond the background check. ABC has not responded to ET's request for comment on Gwozdz's exit from the show.
While speaking with ET's Lauren Zima on Roses and Rose Live on Tuesday, Bachelorette castoff Matt Donald said releasing headshots so soon was a "smart move" on behalf of production.
"I know they're constantly trying to clean out background checks," he shared. "There's only so much they can do when they interview you, and they do a pretty thorough investigation -- but there's only so much they can do."
"It was actually a pretty smart move on their part to kind of filter out a couple people," Donald added.
As for Gwozdz's departure, in particular, Donald, who was eliminated on night one, didn't have as much insight. "People had brought it up on Twitter and stuff like that, but I had no idea [Gwozdz was going to disappear from the show]," he shared.
The Bachelor franchise has faced backlash from fans for questionable casting choices before. One of Bachelorette Becca Kufrin's contestants, Lincoln Adim, was convicted of indecent assault and battery in May 2018, stemming from a 2016 incident. In a statement to ET at the time of Adim's conviction, Warner Bros. said they were looking into why their investigation into Adim didn't contain the information.
Another contestant, Garrett Yrigoyen, who is now engaged to Kufrin, was criticized by fans for his seemingly racist and homophobic behavior on social media. He apologized and clarified his views to ET after the season finale. And another man on Rachel Lindsay's 2017 season of The Bachelorette, Lee Garrett, was revealed to have a history of racist tweets. He apologized for his comments on After the Final Rose.
According to Ayala, producers told him and the rest of the men, "We can't really talk about this, but it's in the best interest for Hannah and for Tyler for him to no longer be here." Hannah never discussed it further with the guys. "It was pretty nipped in the bud pretty quickly and not a lot of comments were made on it," Ayala recalled.
Former Bachelor Colton Underwood offered his insight while speaking with ET over the weekend. "I'll say if there's a guy that was removed because of production, it was probably something that they didn't want out there," he shared. "I'm not asking any questions. It was probably for the best of the show."
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.