SALT LAKE CITY — Maquel Cooper, a contestant on “The Bachelor” who hails from Utah, apologized this week after an old social media post that showed her in what appeared to be makeup that darkened her skin appeared online.
A Reddit post first pointed out that one of Cooper’s old Instagram photos showed her and her two friends wearing brownface makeup — which darkens the skin to appear as a different race — as well as facial hair and black hoodies, according to New York Daily News.
The post included the hashtags “#mexicans” and “#ugly.” It has been deleted from her account, but TV Guide published the photo on their website.
Cooper sent a statement apologizing for the post to TV Guide.
"Five years ago, I made a regretful choice for a costume," she said. "It came at a time when I was unenlightened and uninformed. I apologize to anybody who was offended by my choices. I am sorry for what I did and take full responsibility for my mistake."
Cooper’s apology comes despite ABC President Channing Dungey saying that the show would vet its contestants more thoroughly after many discovered that a former contestant on “The Bachelorette,” Lee Garrett, had many racial statements on his Instagram account.
"I think there were certain elements to Lee — we go through a very complicated vetting process to determine the contestants," Dungey said at last summer's Television Critics Association press tour, according to SFGate.com. "Not everything is apparent right from the beginning, and that's just one of the things we have to look at as we continue to move forward in the future, to maybe continue to strengthen our process of vetting."