After coming out as gay during a highly-publicized interview on Good Morning America last week, Colton Underwood made additional headlines when Variety reported that the former Bachelor is set to star in his own Netflix reality series. Production has already started on the unscripted project, which follows Underwood as he navigates life post-coming out with the help of Olympic athlete Gus Kenworthy. While many congratulated Underwood for coming out on Good Morning America, others were quick to point out that this is the same man accused of stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend, Cassie Randolph, who filed a restraining order against him in 2020. A Change.org petition asking Netflix to cancel the Colton Underwood reality series began circulating shortly after Variety published its report on the project; as of this writing the petition has amassed over 25,000 signatures. “Cassie is a victim of Colton’s abuse, and he does not deserve a platform in any way,” the petition reads. “Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative, and dangerous behavior.”
Randolph appeared on Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, which ended with the pair deciding to date each other for a while before getting engaged. Although Randolph ultimately dropped the restraining order against Underwood, court documents detailed troubling accusations: According to the Los Angeles Times, Underwood allegedly placed a tracking device on Randolph’s vehicle, sent disturbing text messages, and appeared at her home unannounced and uninvited.
Underwood addressed his split from Randolph during the Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts, admitting that he “made a lot of bad choices” in the relationship: “It’s hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were and going through that relationship with her was, because I obviously had an internal fight going on,” said Underwood. “I would just say that I’m sorry, from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Randolph, meanwhile, has not commented on Underwood’s coming out or his Netflix series, and neither Netflix nor Underwood have issued a response to the Change.org petition.