When the “Bachelorette” season 19 finale aired on September 20, many viewers were waiting to see Gabby Windey and Erich Schwer discuss a recent scandal involving him. But that didn’t happen, and quite a few Bachelor Nation veterans and fans were frustrated by it. While Schwer took to Instagram to apologize for his yearbook blackface photo that recently made headlines, he wasn’t asked about it during the After the Final Rose live. He hasn’t addressed it further, but Windey spoke about it in post-finale interviews.
Here’s what you need to know:
Windey told People that she found out about Schwer’s black yearbook photo at the same time as everyone else. She admitted she was “incredibly shocked” and “just really needed to process my thoughts and then think about how we can grow as a couple and learn from it.” Just before the finale, another heavy-related scandal surfaced involving an ex-girlfriend. Windey explained that the incidents, which emerged so close together, caused the couple to “take a step back and think about our relationship and see if we can get through this.”
The “Bachelorette” star was also asked about the blackface incident while speaking to Becca Kufrin and Michelle Young for the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast. Windey admitted she felt a hole in her stomach as soon as she found out about it. She added, “I couldn’t really believe it because I think I’ve worked so hard to educate myself and become the woman I am today.” She explained that she previously dedicated herself to growth in these areas urged, “because unfortunately you don’t always get taught these things when you grow up.”
Windey believes dealing with the aftermath of the blackface incident is “OUR problem” now. She noted, “Now it’s my turn to really teach him and try and enforce how important it is to me and really try to help him learn from the root why this is a problem.” sees this as an opportunity to “teach someone else who’s willing to listen,” adding that right now it’s “the only place I can go from here.”
Kufrin noted that she faced similar challenges when she was “The Bachelorette.” She became engaged to Garrett Yrigoyen, but eventually a significant difference in core beliefs became more than they could overcome. Kufrin told Windey that in her case, she had hoped her fiancé would “learn and grow and change.” “In my situation, however, that was not the case.”
The former “Bachelorette” asked Windey if Schwer is “in a place where he’s really open to change and growth, or is he kind of just in a place where he’s saying that now to placate the public.” In response, Windey admitted, “Honestly, I don’t know.” She believes that Schwer is “in a place where he wants to change and grow,” and she notes that they often talk about social issues. These issues are important to her, she explained, and Windey expressed her determination to push him on these issues. “He knows he’s with me, it’s part of the territory.”
The Bachelorette star thinks this situation could help others, too. “I hope he’s willing to put in the work and become a role model for his community,” Windey said.
Windey seemed intent on making changes so the relationship could continue, and many “Bachelorette” fans will be watching to see if that happens.