Fans watching Monday night's episode ofThe Bachelor saw Victoria Fuller win a spot as cover girl of Cosmopolitan Magazine after impressing their editor-in-chief, Jessica Pels, on a Costa Rica group date. However, that cover will no longer be published digitally.
In a letter posted on Cosmo's website on Monday, Pels explains that the Cosmo team has decided to pull Fuller's cover amid photos surfacing of the Bachelor contestant posing in "White Lives Matter" clothing. An inset of the cover has already been published in the magazine's March issue, alongside the accompanying fashion shoot, but will not appear on their website. ET has reached out to ABC and Warner Bros. for comment.
As Pels reveals, she wasn't familiar with Bachelor Peter Weber's contestants before arriving on-site for the photo shoot in Costa Rica. Then, all she knew was their first names, "and the energy they conveyed through the camera lens."
"It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I found out that the woman I’d chosen had, in her past, modeled in an ad campaign wearing White Lives Matter attire," Pels explains.
"It’s been reported that what she modeled for was actually a Marlin Lives Matter organization 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," she adds.
Pels writes, "Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color."
ApPaReNtLy this is for white marlin conservation but I’m having a hard time believing that’s the only message these clothes are sending https://t.co/opYMqcLDaH
"My team and I had many long discussions about how we wanted to address this issue. We’d already printed the fashion shoot in our March issue, complete with an inset of the cover, and of course the episode had already been filmed," she concludes. "Ultimately what felt right was choosing not to publish the digital cover on our website or social feeds, and simply being honest with you, the audience we respect, about what happened and where we stand."
Fuller has emerged as a Bachelor frontrunner over the past few weeks, with her first one-on-one with Peter airing on last Monday's episode. The date was riddled with drama after Fuller's ex, Chase Rice, appeared as a musical guest, but her connection with Weber strengthened. See more in the video below.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. A special episode will also air on Wednesday.