Bachelor Nation loves drama, but there is a line, and many fans think "The Bachelorette" crossed it last night during Dean Unglert's awkward, uncomfortable family reunion.
Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, 32, had four hometown dates in the July 17 episode, ending with a painful family visit for Dean, 26, in Colorado, followed by Dean being dumped by Rachel (right after she said she was falling in love with him too).
Dean had already explained that his father was "eccentric" and he hadn't seen him in two years. On Instagram, Dean clarified that by "eccentric" he didn't mean his father's Sikh faith. Dean's father now goes by the name Paramroop S. Khahsa, and it seemed clear that he did not realize what was going to happen during the hometown visit. Instead of it being a warm family reunion focused on Dean introducing a new girlfriend, it was a raw, painful reckoning between father and son, with Dean looking visibly uncomfortable during the family talk, then getting upset with his father in their "private" chat, revealing he felt abandoned when his mother died and his father wasn't there for him as a parent.
Dean's father seemed to feel ambushed and wanted out. Many fans felt the same. They reacted on social media with disgust at the show for airing what should've been a private family meeting. Some fans had enough self-awareness to feel a bit guilty themselves, as if they enabled what was probably a widening of the gulf between Dean and his father.
Here are some of the reactions:
Have mixed feelings about this date. I feel like this poor guy & his fam were manipulated into airing this on national tv. #thebachelorette
— J.P. Rosenbaum (@JP_Rosenbaum) July 18, 2017
— Kasey Commander (@kaseytess) July 18, 2017
this feels like a form of emotional abuse and once again i'm unimpressed with abc for capitalizing on someone's pain. #TheBachelorette
— Jamie Lincoln (@jamielincs__) July 18, 2017
— Neddra Smith (@NeddraASmith) July 18, 2017
This is the most real and heartbreaking segment of the #TheBachelorette and it feels inappropriate to air/watch.
— Brianna Linden (@bnlinden) July 18, 2017
Cruel for ABC to do this for raitings. Putting Dean's Dad in the promos, making it the last date. Such poor taste. #TheBachelorette
— Emily Schwartz (@emilycschwartz) July 18, 2017
What ABC just did to Dean was exploitative and cruel. Let the man heal off camera. #TheBachelorette
— Maddy Meigs (@maddymaemeigs) July 18, 2017
— FreeSpirit (@spiritmefree1) July 18, 2017
This hometown is pretty heartbreaking- I'm not down with exploiting a broken family for ratings #TheBachelorette
— Aysha Malik (@FireAndAysh) July 18, 2017
this isn't Rachel meeting Dean's family. this is abc taking advantage of Dean's toxic family situation #TheBachelorette
— The Bachelor Diaries (@thebachdiaries) July 18, 2017
— Lori Tabrizi (@Lori_NT) July 18, 2017
This Dean date was super invasive. I feel like an enabler. I genuinely feel bad for watching. #TheBachelorette
— Mia Simon (@miasimon_says) July 18, 2017
I don't feel we should be watching this convo between Dean and his dad. I hope they both get healing and closure #TheBachelorette
— jule36 (@jule36ace) July 18, 2017
The situation only got worse when Dean was sent home at the rose ceremony. Fans couldn't believe Rachel would allow Dean to be used for drama, then cut him loose after telling him she was falling in love with him:
Publicly humiliating Dean and the issues with his family and him declaring his love and then he got sent home? Not cool????????????????#TheBachelorette
— Caroline Kimani (@cawaki) July 18, 2017
— Diajah???? (@diajahk) July 18, 2017
— Alexis's Dolphin (@Alexiss_dolphin) July 18, 2017
OH PUT DEANS BUSINESS ON TV THEN SEND HIM HOME THIS IS SOME BS!!!!!!!!! What an angel!!! ???????????? #TheBachelorette
— Maddie (@maddiegascarr) July 18, 2017
For his part, Dean posted that he has nothing but love and respect for Rachel. And he'll next be seen on "Bachelor in Paradise." (Apparently he gets involved in some drama there too, of a very different kind. You can read Reality Steve's spoilers on that, if you care to.) He probably won't be the next Bachelor, but you don't have to worry that he'll be lonely. It's just a shame that we probably do have to worry that even more damage was just done to his relationship with his father.
"The Bachelorette" continues on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Want more stuff like this? Like us on Facebook.