Bachelorette finalist Erich Schwer has issued an apology after old photos of him using blackface surfaced on the internet.
"I wholeheartedly apologize for the insensitive photo of me in Blackface from my high school yearbook that has been circulating," he captioned an Instagram photo of a blank black square on Thursday evening. "What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance."
"I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior," he added. "I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability."
Erich is currently vying for the heart of Gabby Windey on season 19 of The Bachelorette, and on this week's episodes fans watched as the two enjoyed a fantasy suite date before he became the last man standing. Just one day after the episode aired, a viral Reddit thread shared photos from the New Jersey real estate agent's high school yearbook, which showed him in blackface.
The next episode of The Bachelorette airs September 13.