The Tuesday night episode of The Bachelorette featured a game of strip dodgeball, with the losing team walking away fully naked.
Star Clare Crawley told the men before the game: "I feel like I want to up the ante here. I think we should play strip dodgeball." Host Chris Harrison asked her to confirm that the losing team would end up naked at the end of the tournament and she responded, "This is my game. These are my rules."
The men were split into Red and Blue teams, and Crawley and Harrison acted as commentators as the men played. They commented on the men’s bodies, and Crawley made the final call for one team to strip down to their jockstrap thongs.
However, one member of the losing team, the Blue team, refused to remove his last item of clothing, and told Crawley: "I love you, but, I can't."
While ABC pixelated the men’s lower bodies once they had removed their shorts, many viewers slammed the show for its “double standard” even before the episode aired.
One person commented on the episode’s teaser posted on Monday on the official Bachelorette Instagram account: "This show would be cancelled if the bachelor asked female contestants to play strip anything.”
Another person called Crawley "disappointing," while some called for both the show and Crawley to "do better."
After the episode aired on Tuesday, comments kept flowing in, with the majority of the viewers calling out its double standard.
The winner of The Bachelorette's 2011 season, J.P. Rosenbaum, tweeted: "I realize this 'date' is gonna have a lot of critics, but can you imagine the flak the show would get if this was #Thebachelor and the girls were stripping down to their underwear? #sexist #TheBachelorette #dadbod."
Juliet Litman, a popular podcaster, said on the Bachelor Party show, "If it was women in that position, it would be completely unacceptable, absolutely scandalous and there would be this huge outcry. The double standard of objectifying mens' bodies like that and asking men to be in that position really bothered me because I would not accept it for women."
Former Bachelor Ben Higgins, who runs the podcast Almost Famous, shared his thoughts on the matter: "If this was a Bachelor season, no way this happens, no way they get away with it, no way it's appropriate, no way this just becomes a weekly topic. I think the show is super smart. They knew this wouldn't shut down the show, but it's pushing the envelope a little bit here."
He added: “This is all fun and games until my buddies and I are naked on national television. They push the envelope every season, but this felt like a lot."
One of the show’s contestants, Brown, called Crawley "classless."
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter