In a comment on Nick Viall’s Instagram post, congratulating the franchise on its first same-sex couple, Tolbert, 32, gave his two cents on why he’s not a fan how Paradise cast Haggerty weeks into Burnett’s romance with Derek Peth.
“I’m truly happy for Demi… and think it’s great that the franchise is raising awareness,” Tolbert wrote. “Just wish that if they wanted to showcase this, they would have cast her girlfriend from day 1 so we wouldn’t have to watch all the ‘acting’ on how we got to this point.”
He continued, “I wish them the best but also want to feel like I’m watching an unscripted show – I respect your take tho.”
Tolbert’s comment was in reference to Viall’s Instagram video, which featured a segment of an episode of his podcast, “The Viall Files,” where the former Bachelor criticized those who disapproved of ABC casting Haggerty, a non-Bachelor Nation alum, on Paradise.
In August, Tolbert, who starred on season 2 of Paradise where he met his now-wife Jade Roper, faced backlash when he compared Burnett’s history with Haggerty, whom she had been dating before Paradise, to Jed Wyatt’s relationship with ex-girlfriend Haley Stevens. After Wyatt and Hannah Brown got engaged on season 15 of The Bachelorette, Brown broke it off following news that the country singer had a girlfriend before going on her season.
After the tweet, which has since been deleted, Burnett slammed Tolbert on Twitter, denying that she and Wyatt were at all similar.
“Oh f–k off, not the same at all. Maybe I can teach you a thing or two about going down on your wife @ttolbert05,” she wrote in response to Us Weekly’s story about Tolbert’s post.
Brown also blasted Tolbert for the comparison.
“One is my best friend, one is my ex-fiancé….I can tell you first hand, not the same,” she tweeted in response to Us’ story.
Following weeks of exchanging rose with Peth, Burnett reunited with Haggerty on the Tuesday, August 20, episode of Paradise. After her girlfriend arrived at the beach, the Bachelor alum had a conversation with Peth, where she confirmed that she wanted to be in a relationship with Haggerty. Later in the episode, the women went on their first Paradise date, where they exchanged I love yous.