Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph met on The Bachelor in 2018, but publicly split in May 2020. (Andrew Toth/Getty)
More than 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for Netflix to axe a new series starring Colton Underwood over his alleged stalking.
An anonymous user created a Change.org petition to protest the Netflix series, which will reportedly star Gus Kenworthy as Colton Underwood’s “gay guide” as he’s “eased” into gay life, over claims he was abusive towards his Bachelor pick and ex-girlfriend, Cassie Randolph.
The petition stated: “Colton is a former Bachelor lead who stalked his final pick, Cassie Randolph.”
“Cassie is a victim of Colton’s abuse, and he does not deserve a platform in any way,” the user added. “Regardless of his sexuality, Colton should not be given a platform as a result of his abusive, manipulative, and dangerous behaviour.”
In September 2020, Randolph filed for a restraining order against Underwood, asking the court to ensure he stay at least 100 yards away from her, her home and her parents’ home.
The order alleged Underwood was “anonymously send[ing] harassing text messages” and “track[ing] her whereabouts. It stated that Randolph “fear[ed] for her safety and the safety of her family and friends” because of his behaviour.
The court gave her a temporary restraining order while they waited for a hearing, but later requested for the orders to be dismissed. Underwood told People that he and Randolph “were able to reach a private agreement”.
The petition’s goal is to reach 25,000 signatures.
One signatory wrote: “Abusers do not get a sympathy tour, and women aren’t just tertiary characters in a male’s story arch in becoming his true self.”
Other commenters had similar sentiments. “It sucks to know that as a woman, society will view me as collateral damage for a somewhat good looking white man’s journey,” another wrote. PinkNews has contacted Colton Underwood’s representatives and Netflix for comment.
While the petition description focused on the allegations against Underwood as the primary reason to cancel the series, many commenters felt he was shouldn’t have a series because “he has done nothing to contribute to the LGBT+ community”.
One user asked: “Where are the stories about queer people who have been trailblazers for their community? Where are the stories about queer BIPOC?”
Underwood came out publicly as gay last week (14 April) in an interview with Good Morning America after having a “wake up call”.
In the interview, Underwood said he never came out to Randolph, and added: “I made mistakes in the end of that relationship. And I ruined the good memories we had by my actions and what I did to hold on to being straight, because I didn’t want to look myself in the mirror. So for that, I’m extremely, extremely sorry.”
Sources close to Randolph said she didn’t know he was going to come out and hadn’t “had time to navigate how she feels about it yet”.