When The Bachelor‘s Arie Luyendyk Jr. and fiancée Lauren Burnham pranked their followers by pretending to be expecting a baby on April Fool’s Day, they were eviscerated as tone-dear by fans who’ve had difficulty starting families.
And on Monday, the professional racer/realtor apologized for the joke gone wrong.
I do have sympathy for women struggling from infertility. My April Fools prank was in no way meant to offend women who struggle with that. I apologize if you were effected personally by my post.
— Arie Luyendyk Jr. (@ariejr) April 2, 2018
“I do have sympathy for women struggling from infertility. My April Fools prank was in no way meant to offend women who struggle with that. I apologize if you were effected personally by my post,” tweeted Luyendyk Jr., 36.
The backlash began on Sunday, when he shared a photo of Burnham, 26, wearing a fake bump.
“Secrets finally out, we have a bunny in the oven! @laurenburnham91,” he wrote, adding, “APRIL FOOLS!” over an hour later.
Secrets finally out, we have a bunny in the oven! @laurenburnham91 pic.twitter.com/Mmx50ePDaB
— Arie Luyendyk Jr. (@ariejr) April 1, 2018
“You both are disgusting. As someone who struggles with fertility and would love nothing more than to have a baby this is so offensive,” one follower replied.
Another wrote, “Come on. be better than that. it’s not a joke for many struggling families to get pregnant, it’s extremely expensive and it’s heartbreaking. I wish nothing but the best for Arie and Lauren but this is not funny, it’s cruel.”
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12.1% percent of women between the ages of 15 to 44 struggle with infertility.
As it turns out, the couple was actually cooking a Dutch Baby pancake. (Luyendyk Jr. is Dutch.)