Social media, humor, the zeitgeist, and how these concepts interact have evolved a lot over the past decade.
A lot of people have grown and changed since then, too.
Andrew Spencer is not the first person, on The Bachelorette or otherwise, to be haunted by his past tweets.
He now understands that they were truly repulsive things to say, joking or otherwise. He’s not that person anymore.
The 26-year-old professional football player was of course at the taping of the Men Tell All special.
As a contestant on Katie Thurston’s season, he has gained widespread recognition.
But his problematic and offensive tweets did not go unnoticed.
Andrew addressed that troubled social media history with Entertainment Tonight.
He had more to talk about, of course, given how emotional and dramatic his breakup from Katie was.
But the tweets, most of which were posted between 2011 and 2014, needed to be discussed.
Andrew’s old tweets, some from a decade ago and some not quite as old, were just plain bad.
Some were fatphobic. Some were racially insensitive (at best). Some were dripping with misogyny.
Some of these were once en vogue, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t harmful back then as they would be now.
To make matters more complicated, in 2014, Andrew did a bit of potential foreshadowing.
Seven years ago, he expressed an interest in becoming the next Bachelor.
Unfortunately, not all of his clownery is part of a bygone era.
Just last year, Andrew tweeted that disgraced former president Donald Trump is “hilarious.”
Sometimes, context can explain things — like sarcasm.
But even before a mob of Trump loyalists attacked Capitol Hill, Trump was many things — but not hilarious.
“That’s just really immature,” Andrew confessed while speaking to Entertainment Tonight.
“I own it,” he emphasized.
“And,” Andrew stressed, “I don’t downplay anything about it.”
“I’m really sorry that people had to see that side of me,” Andrew expressed.
“Obviously, you don’t want to hide that,” he added.
“That’s a part of my life,” Andrew stated, “and I own it.”
“But,” Andrew affirmed in his interview, “that’s nowhere near the person I am today.”
“I obviously show that every single day,” he added.
Andrew noted that he shows this “in how I speak.”
“If my mom would’ve saw those tweets,” Andrew commented, “she would’ve whooped my ass for sure.”
Obviously, domestic violence is not a laughing matter either, but this is (unfortunately) a common expression.
Andrew had more to say.
The tweets, he stated, are “100 percent not who I am.”
“And not who my family raised me to be,” he added.
“[I’m] definitely disappointed and embarrassed about that,” Andrew added “but that is 1000 percent not who I am today.”
There are three major factors in how one should approach problematic old tweets or similar statements:
Sincerety, proximity, severity, and growth.
Sincerety is whether they meant the cruelty at the time, or were “just kidding.”
Proximity is a question of how long ago the statement was made. A few months ago is not a “long time.”
Severity is how bad it was — did they make a bad joke, did they hurl slurs, did they DM suicide suggestions to a teenager?
Growth doesn’t conquer all, but it is arguably the most important of these. Who are they now?
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