We knew going into it that this season of The Bachelorette would be unlike anything we’ve seen before.
But we don’t think anyone anticipated the spectacle we witnessed last night.
There were many awkward moments during Clare’s second episode as the rose master general, but it’s safe to say that one scene in particular flopped and dangled its way to the top of the list.
We’re talking, of course, about the strip dodgeball game.
What started as a wholesome throwback to a phys ed classic quickly turned into an exercise in man meat examination that was so X-rated it made Chris Harrison blush.
The ten men on Clare’s second group date reported to the court thinking they would merely be hurling rubber balls at one another for the chance to spend more time with her.
Little did they know, Ms. Crawley had a different kind of balls on her mind.
After Harrison explained the rules of the game, Clare introduced a twist that left viewers and contestants stunned — and not in a good way.
“I feel like I wanna up the ante here. I think we should play strip dodgeball,” Crawley told the men.
The blue team lost in straight sets and were forced to walk home naked, but not before Clare hugged each of them in a moment that one viewer on Twitter described as “very sexual harrassy.”
Many fans — or former fans, as the case may be — were outraged.
Several pointed out that if a male Bachelor asked his female contestants to strip down on camera, a producer likely would have stepped in and put a stop to the scene.
“I realize this ‘date’ is gonna have a lot of critics, but can you imagine the flak the show would get if this was #Thebachelor and the girls were stripping down to their underwear? #sexist,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Can you imagine if The Bachelor made a bunch of women play strip dodgeball? He’d get canceled immediately,” another added.
“If women on the bachelor were asked to play strip dodge ball it would be a riot. #Bachelorette,” a third chimed.
Some even went so far as to compare Clare to the franchise’s most notorious villains.
“Imagine the outrage if Juan Pablo asked the girls to do strip dodgeball….and said ‘sorry girls, my game my rules’ Why does Clare get a pass? This is cringeworthy TV,” one viewer tweeted.
“So Clare on the #bachelorette, makes many of the men strip down.. Could you imagine the scrutiny a ‘bachelor’ would get if he wanted girls to strip down? Then continues to hug the naked guys.. super classy,” another wrote.
“I’m honestly grossed out by this. This would NEVER happen the other way around with women playing ‘strip dodgeball,’ so they shouldn’t make the men do it either. Not a good look,” yet another pointed out.
Yeah, we would say regardless of gender, pressuring virtual strangers to take their clothes off on national TV is not a good look.
Clare seemed to think this was a moment of empowered feminism, but the fact is, even though no one voiced an objection, several of the men were visibly uncomfortable, and Brendan Morais refused to remove his jock strap.
Only the much-maligned Yosef Aborady — who was not on hand for the game — later pointed out that Clare’s demands were highly inappropriate.
We understand that this is the quarantine season, and producers have limited options in terms of activities, but given the number of experienced professionals on hand, someone should have stepped in and pointed out that compelled stripping will always come off as more than a little gross.
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