The Bachelor viewers can tell that Clayton regrets being the leading man.
At the same time, he’s not the only one who has made real mistakes.
On screen, viewers got to see Marlena Wesh roast some of her castmates.
In a now-deleted TikTok, however, Marlena shared some other “jokes” … and got super racist for no reason.
On the fifth episode of this season Marlena Wesh read the room — as in, read her castmates for filth.
That aired on February 7. Since then, she unwisely opted to keep it going on TikTok.
As you can see, it backfired in the worst way:
“Sarah, my little Asian persuasion, OK?” Marlena said during the ill-advised TikTok.
“One thing’s for certain and two things for damn sure,” she said, “if Clayton ends up with Sarah, at least we know he’s gonna get a happy ending.”
A happy ending is a euphemism for being masturbated to orgasm at the end of a massage. This was punctuated by Marlena’s face suggesting oral sex.
23-year-old Sarah is part Vietnamese, which is why Marlena made this “joke” about her.
While there is never an excuse for racism, it was particularly stunning to see this from a 30-year-old Black woman.
Anti-Asian racism is sinister and has fueled numerous hate crimes in recent years.
“I would like to say that Sarah and I have spoken about this privately,” Marlena began her lengthy Instagram apology.
She explained that she spoke to Sarah first “as her feelings were what I was concerned about at the time.”
Marlena explained: “I needed a moment to gather myself to truly understand how the context of my joke could harm the Asian community.”
“As a woman of color myself that has dealt with microagressions pertaining to my culture, my intention was never to hurt anyone,” Marlena affirmed.
“And,” she lamented, “I see that my comment did just that.”
Marlena acknowledged: “I perpetuated a dangerous stereotype.”
“And because of that I want to truly apologize to all that were offended and hurt by such an ignorant and cruel comment,” Marlena announced.
“This is not my character and this is not my heart,” she expressed.
Marlena added: “I have been impacted by the many individuals that have reached out and held me accountable by sharing their experiences.”
“I will learn, I will grow, and I will do better,” Marlena vowed to conclude her apology.
Sarah, after having that private conversation, also spoke publicly in a reply to her friend.
“My girl! You have the best heart and are one of the most caring women I’ve ever met, who especially stands up for what is right,” Sarah wrote. “I love you!”
Obviously, no one person can accept an apology on behalf of an entire community.
Sarah can, however, accept an apology on her own behalf. She can also express feelings of admiration for someone who chose poorly.
Sarah clearly believes that Marlena is earnest and sincere, and that’s a good first step — even if she doesn’t represent the entire AAPI community.
Some may wonder what exactly is the big deal about perpetuating stereotypes like this, especially as sex work slowly makes gains of acceptance in our society.
Stereotypes are, at their core, dehumanizing because they reduce actual people into traits and caricatures — even ones that seem like compliments.
The vicious hate crimes carried out against Asian Americans in recent years illustrate how important this is.
Marlena and Sarah are both women of color, but their experiences very, both because of their different racial backgrounds and because they are individuals.
We hope that the Bachelor Nation takes this to heart and uses it as a learning opportunity.
Marlena has certainly learned from it, but one of reality television’s most infamous fandoms could really use this for growth.