After a lackluster season of The Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. became one of the franchise’s most infamous villains when he broke up with his fiancée, Becca Kufrin, to pursue things with his runner-up, Lauren Burnham. He even proposed to Burnham on their live After the Final Rose special, while Kufrin was backstage. Now the reality TV star is facing backlash once again because of his “cruel” April Fools’ Day joke.
On Sunday, Luyendyk tweeted a photo of what appeared to be his fiancée cradling a baby bump. “Secrets finally out, we have a bunny in the oven!” he captioned the pic, tagging Burnham.
An hour-and-a-half later, he followed that with another tweet saying, “APRIL FOOLS!”
Many of his followers failed to see the humor in his so-called joke. Several people criticized the race car driver-turned-real estate agent for being insensitive to those who are dealing with fertility struggles. “That is THE worst thing to joke about when so many people are unable to conceive or have miscarried,” one person tweeted in response.
Another replied to the prank with a photo of someone holding a sign that read: “1 in 8 of your friends struggles to get pregnant. 1 in 4 of your friends has lost a baby. Pregnancy is not an April Fools’ joke.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12.1 percent of women in the US between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty becoming pregnant. The CDC also notes that 12 percent of women in that age range (or approximately 7.3 million individuals) have used infertility services.
On Monday, Luyendyk took to social media once again, this time to apologize. “I do have sympathy for women struggling from infertility,” he wrote. “My April Fools prank was in no way meant to offend women who struggle with that. I apologize if you were effected personally by my post.”
(photo via ABC/Paul Hebert)