During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide funds to small businesses, self-employed workers, certain nonprofits, and sole proprietorships. The program was initially created to help companies that were struggling to stay afloat because of the unprecedented nature of the pandemic. The relief funds could be used to pay employees and rent, and for other expenses.
This has sparked a discussion online about whether the reality-stars-turned-influencers should have applied in the first place, and a few other alums from the franchise have weighed in.
Who received PPP loans from 'Bachelor' Nation?
Tayshia Adams, Arie Luyendyk Jr., Lauren Burnham Luyendyk, and Dale Moss all applied for loans of over $20,000 for their respective small businesses. Colton Underwood applied for one for his nonprofit organization.
Tayshia, who led Season 16 of The Bachelorette and who is currently one of the co-hosts for Season 17, received a $20,833 loan for her company, Tayshia Adams Media LLC. Following the controversy, her representative released a statement about how the Click Bait podcast host used the loan to hire an employee.
"As a business owner, television and podcast host, and brand ambassador, Tayshia obtained a PPP Loan that enabled her to hire an employee, to whom she offers market-based pay and benefits," Tayshia's representative said in a statement to Vulture. "Since exhausting the PPP loan funds, but in light of the growing economy, Tayshia has committed to retaining her employee for the foreseeable future."
Arie and Lauren, who both appeared on Season 17 of The Bachelor, received a $20,830 loan for their two-employee company, Instagram Husband LLC.
The couple recently welcomed twins together, and they vlogged about their decision to buy a second home in Hawaii on YouTube in April of 2021. They have yet to comment on the loan controversy.
Dale, who won Clare Crawley's portion of The Bachelorette Season 16, applied and was approved for a $20,833 loan. It has yet to be dispersed.
Colton's foundation, Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, took out a loan of $11,355. His representative told TMZ that all of the money went toward the cystic fibrosis nonprofit and that the former NFL player did not take any of it for himself.
"Colton's nonprofit filed for the PPP loan after their annual fundraising events were canceled due to COVID. None of the PPP went directly to Colton," the statement read. "In fact, Colton has never received any form of payment from the foundation, all of the proceeds go directly to people living with cystic fibrosis."
Nick Viall, a former 'Bachelor' lead, weighed in on the PPP controversy.
While many people have discussed the Bachelor Nation PPP loan controversy online, only a few alums from the franchise have shared their thoughts on the matter.
The Bachelor Season 21 lead and The Viall Files podcast host, Nick Viall, took to Twitter and TikTok to explain his point of view.
"What's legal isn't always right. What's illegal isn't always wrong. Don't know everyone's situation, but my gut tells any alum applying for a PPP is both savvy and s--tty," he tweeted on June 28. "Interesting debate."
In a TikTok video, Nick noted that what the aforementioned stars did was legal but that he didn't think it was necessarily the "right thing" to do. He said that the former Bachelor/Bachelorette leads are given "incredible opportunities when it comes to earning potential."
"I can't imagine that any of these people thought that anyone would look. Let's be honest, right," he said. "Did anyone do anything illegal? No. They absolutely didn't. But, if you're going to take public funds, right, if you're going to have a public platform, you're going to be open to public criticism."
Nick said that he chose not to apply for a PPP loan.
"People can debate whether it was their right to do it or not, I'm not debating that. But, it's just semantics to pretend it wasn't s--tty or it wasn't the wrong thing to do, even if it means that they were savvy, " he continued. "For those of you who did take it, maybe give it back, or donate it to a small business in need and then throw up a post ... and get that money back in like two posts."
Jason Tartick, who is currently engaged to Tayshia's Bachelorette co-host, Kaitlyn Bristowe, posted a video on Instagram about why he chose not to apply for a PPP loan.
"My opinion is what I did. I looked at it. I went through each of the applications. I came very close, [I'm] being honest, to filling one out. I figured I could use the money to do something resourceful. ... I just thought, 'It's not fair.' That was why I didn't do it."
The Bachelorette airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.