Why did Bachelorette hide Jef’s parents’ Mormonism?

The Bachelorette has mercifully concluded, following the not-at-all shocking live finale that did not live up to Chris Harrison’s promises. Of course, Emily Maynard ended up with Jef Holm, and they’re engaged, and good for them.

One question remains–besides the obvious “When will they break up?”–and that is this: Why did the show hide Jef’s parents’ Mormonism? The Daily Beast asks that question, although doesn’t come up with an answer. (ABC refused comment.)

Jef previously told reporters, “I was raised Mormon … I’m just not practicing right now. … [F]aith is something that’s a huge priority on my list and in my life, and I’m really active, you know, in church and everything. I’m just not active Mormon.”

That wasn’t included in the show, but the most damning evidence that the show actively tried to hide his connection to the religion is a redubbed line during the hometown visit, when Jef seemed to say that his parents were “on a mission,” replacing it with “charity work.”

Why edit that line? That seems absurdly unnecessary, especially because reality TV has featured many Mormons over the years.

We do know that he and Emily talked about it, though. At the reunion, she said, according to the LA Times, “Faith is a huge part of my life, and there’s no way I could fall in love and potentially get engaged without having that conversation. He was very open and honest about everything.”

The show, however, is not.

Update: In a conference call with reporters, Jef said, “I have no idea” when he was asked if and why that was dubbed, and also said, “There was no intention of hiding any part of my background or any part of the way I was raised or religious beliefs or anything like that. My family’s very private, and what my parents are doing right now is private to the family, and I didn’t really want to create any media attention to what they were doing so that they could focus on what they’re doing.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.