The Bachelor Clayton Echard says he felt “frustrated” watching Shanae Ankney weaponize Elizabeth Corrigan’s ADHD diagnosis against her.
After staying mute on the subject for over a week, The Bachelor Clayton Echard is finally speaking out about the drama that unfolded between contestants Elizabeth Corrigan and Shanae Ankney. Ever since the Jan. 10 episode aired, Shanae has been the subject of much criticism by Bachelor Nation for essentially weaponizing Elizabeth’s ADHD diagnosis against her. While fans, fellow women of The Bachelor season 26 and franchise alums, including former The Bachelorette Hannah Brown, have voiced their support of Elizabeth, Clayton kept hinting that he’d address the matter at a later date. He recently stayed true to his word and appeared on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast.
On the most recent episode of The Bachelor, Shanae started badmouthing Elizabeth to Clayton and calling her a “red flag” seemingly out of nowhere. She shared that earlier in the day, Elizabeth allegedly snubbed her at the pool. When she was informed of the situation by Clayton, Elizabeth explained to Shanae that she suffers from ADHD and can only focus on one conversation at a time. Shanae didn’t accept this answer and went on to reveal Elizabeth’s mental health battle to the group at large. After the episode, Bachelor Nation fiercely came to Elizabeth’s defense. Hannah Brown, who has ADHD herself, said that being hyper focused on something—and unknowingly ignoring everything else—is a common occurrence.
Now, Elizabeth has one more person wholeheartedly on her side. Clayton appeared as a special guest on the Tuesday episode of the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast, hosted by Bachelor In Paradise stars Becca Kufrin and Serena Pitt, to set the record straight. While his silence on the subject led some fans to question his stance, Clayton adamantly denounced Shanae. “I don’t condone that behavior at all. It was very upsetting for me to watch and realize that someone would make a joke out of someone having a deficit,” he said. “Me seeing it for the first time, I was frustrated by it because I don’t think anybody should be doing that, coming after someone for something that they were born with and that they have to deal with on a daily basis.”
Clayton admitted that the intense moments between Shanae and Elizabeth were previously unknown to him. As America watched those scenes unfold, so did Clayton. “I didn’t realize that Shanae went after her to the degree that she did about her ADHD,” he said, adding that he’s been bombarded with questions about why he didn’t step in and send Shanae home immediately. “I didn’t know the severity of the situation … Keep in mind, if I’m not there on screen then I’m not there, which means I’m not privy to it.” Clayton went on to applaud Elizabeth for staying calm during the encounter with Shanae and utilizing her platform to spread ADHD awareness. “I could only imagine what Elizabeth was going through having to have that cast out not only to the women, but to the entire world,” he said. “I think she’s doing a great job of it.”
When The Bachelor returns on Jan. 24, it will be interesting to see how Clayton handled things under the pressure of production. He may have a clear picture of both women in present day, but in the heart of filming the show several months ago, there’s a chance this wasn’t the case and Shanae will grace TV screens for yet another week. However, if Clayton did send Shanae packing, this will likely boost his struggling popularity quite a bit.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Source: Bachelor Happy Hour
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