Bachelor Clayton Echard Says He's Been 'Overwhelmed' by Social Media Critics: 'Words Do Affect Me'

·3 min read

Clayton Echard is opening up about the tougher parts of being The Bachelor.

Echard's season began airing on ABC earlier this month, and since then, he said the criticism he sees on social media has started getting to him.

"I think at first it was kind of quiet so I was able to respond as much as I could and I'm very just appreciative for the whole opportunity so I wanted to be able to let people know, 'Hey thank you for reaching out, it means a lot,' " he said on Tuesday's episode of Bachelor Happy Hour.

Echard, 28, continued, "And then the first episode aired and all of a sudden, it just opened the floodgates and at that point, I started to get overwhelmed. I'd be lying if I said it was all sunshine and roses. I have definitely fallen victim to reading everything, which everybody's told me, 'Stop reading all the comments,' but my thought was if I know what's out there, there's no surprises."

clayton bachelor
clayton bachelor

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The former NFL player then noted that he is watching his season for the first time "with everybody else," reminding viewers that he was not aware of everything that was said or happened throughout filming.

"I see people that are coming after me and my character and saying 'This guy has terrible judgment, why wouldn't you respond to this?' And the answer is simple, do you see me in that picture?" Echard said, explaining that if he's not in the scene, he likely doesn't know what went down.

He also shared that his mom has been even more affected by the onslaught of negative comments on social media.

"My mom is so very supportive, so excited, she's always texting me but the sad part about it is she's taking a lot of this criticism worse than I am," he said. "I haven't been too excited about that. I've taken it a certain way, but my mom is really, really struggling with it and I tell her to just get off social media and she can't do it either, she's so curious."

"It's driving her absolutely wild and I think that's just why, if anyone watches this and thinks about typing a negative comment, realize that it's not just me that you're affecting, it's my loved ones, you're affecting my mom," he added.

clayton and serene
clayton and serene

abc Clayton on The Bachelor premiere

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Echard went on to say that his mental health, as well as his mom's, have suffered as a result, and he urged people to think twice before posting a hurtful comment.

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"You think it's just one comment… understand that I'm not just reading that one comment, I'm reading your comment, the 10,000 other comments and they all pile-on and it can be a lot," he said.

"While it has been such a phenomenal experience, while it was so exciting to get that call to be the next Bachelor, I'm now seeing that the hardest part is actually not so much the show, it's the aftermath — now watching it with the public," he added.

The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m.) on ABC.

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