Hannah Brown has apologized on her Instagram page for "unacceptable" language – using the N-word during an Instagram Live broadcast Saturday night.
"The Bachelorette" and "Dancing With the Stars" champion said there was "no excuse" for using the racial slur incorporated into her rendition of a popular song.
"I owe you all a major apology," Brown wrote in Instagram Story Sunday. "There is no excuse and I will not justify what I said. I have read your messages and seen the hurt I have caused. I own it all. I am terribly sorry and know that whether in public or private, this language is unacceptable. I promise to do better."
In the now removed video, still posted on TMZ, Brown used the racial slur while apparently trying to remember the lyrics to DaBaby's "Rockstar." She stopped herself, but then continued with the song.
Brown later addressed her word usage after fans called her out in the Instagram Live comments. "I did? I'm so sorry… No, I was singing… I'm so sorry," she said. Brown followed up with the full apology the next day.
Rachel Lindsay, the "Bachelor" franchise's first and only black lead, responded to Brown's comments without directly naming names, telling followers in an Instagram Live stream Sunday night that she was "tired of feeling like I have to be the one to speak because other people won't."
"I'm personally offended by what was done," Lindsay added, without directly name-dropping Brown. "I thought, 'Let me use this to challenge this person to use their platform, because last night it was used in a different way. So let me challenge them to use it in a better way. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe they didn't understand the intention behind it."
Lindsay said she "gave somebody the opportunity" to fix the issue and "it wasn't done."
"I understand that an apology was made, but when I know what could have been done, when I know what I challenged someone to do, they did not do it. So I felt like I'll use my platform to do it, because it's easy to make a statement. It's easy to hide behind words. But when you're bold enough to say the N-word on camera, on your platform… you need to be bold enough to use your face on camera and apologize in the same way that you said the word."
Tyler Cameron, the runner-up from Brown's season who up until recently had been quarantining with Brown and upcoming "Bachelorette" contestant Matt James, praised Lindsay's comments, urging others to educate themselves and others on the issue.
"We have a long ways to go on this issue and a lot to learn," Cameron wrote Sunday night on his Instagram Story. "If you find yourself getting defensive, you are part of the problem."
He also defended Brown, calling the issue "bigger than" her.
"HB is not a racist," he added. "In these moments you have the opportunity ot bury someone or lift them up. We need to lift HB up from this. She is learning and growing just like every single one of us. Love rids hate. Hate only makes more hate. Let's learn and lift each other up with love."
"Bachelor" alum Bekah Martinez also called out Brown and the controversy on her own Instagram Story.
"How are people still gonna defend CELEBS with access to SOOO much privilege, knowledge, and education saying the N-word...even if it's 'just the lyrics to a song'...especially when that person had the wherewithal to skip over the F-word lyrics first," Martinez wrote.
"We've GOT to hold people accountable to do better otherwise we're continuing to prioritize the feelings of white people (and someone we 'stan') over ending our country's loooong history of casual racism and flippant anti-blackness," Martinez added. "So no, it's not cool to just sing it along the lyrics of a song. especially not ON YOUR PLATFORM WITH MILLIONS OF FOLLOWERS?!! smh. it's 2020."