During Monday evening’s episode of the American reality dating programme, contestant Victoria Fuller was awarded the prize of being featured on the digital cover of Cosmopolitan alongside Bachelor Peter Weber after winning a challenge.
However, in a statement published on the Cosmopolitan website, editor Jessica Pels explained that the publication decided to pull the plug on Fuller’s cover after finding out she had taken part in a controversial modelling campaign.
Pels stated that all she knew of The Bachelor contestants when selecting a winner 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, modelled in an ad campaign wearing White Lives Matter attire,” she wrote.
“It’s been reported that what she modelled for was actually a Marlin Lives Matter organisation 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 organisation is neither here nor there – both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic.”
Pels added that 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 colour.”
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— rach against the machine (@rchlmllnd)January 7, 2020
Pels said she and her team “had many long discussions” about what action they would take regarding Fuller’s planned cover.
“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,” the editor said.
“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.”
The Independent has contacted Fuller for comment.