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Luke Parker’s Family Sheds Light on ‘Bachelorette’ Star Amid Backlash

Could Bachelorette viewers’ impression of Luke Parker be all wrong? His family seems to think so!

Related: Most Awkward Love Confessions in Bachelor Nation History

The Georgia native’s family spoke with The Gainesville Times about the ABC show’s portrayal of Parker, 24, on Saturday, July 20. The feature included statements from his relatives accusing the spinoff of purposefully setting Parker up to be vilified.

“The only thing that’s obvious to me is this show is produced by people who are very much opposed to a biblical Gospel,” Parker’s brother, Mike Parker, told the newspaper. “And I wholeheartedly believe that from the very beginning of the show, they have meticulously drawn this narrative that Luke’s a liar, that he is a manipulator who, to this point that we are now, no matter what Luke says, no one is going to listen to him.”

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Luke Parker Defended by Family Amid Backlash
Luke Parker from “The Bachelorette.” John Fleenor/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Mike then reflected on The Bachelorette’s fantasy suite episode, where Luke told leading lady Hannah Brown that he would be “wanting to go home” if she had sex with any of her other suitors. He claimed Luke raised the question not “to test” the 24-year-old star but to confirm they “were on the same page.”

“She had voiced concerns that she was worried that the show would make it look like she was having sex in the fantasy suites when she wasn’t,” Mike alleged further, adding that Brown “arrogantly boasting about” having sex didn’t sit well with his brother.

Mike’s father-in-law, Bucky Kennedy, admitted to The Gainesville Times that he “didn’t think the show was a place for” Luke. He also suggested that The Bachelorette is “destructive” and that it created a “very manipulated environment.”

Mike, meanwhile, added that the show depicts “a fictional representation of who Luke is.”

Related: Most Intense ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Scandals Ever

Luke Parker Defended by Family Amid Backlash
Luke Parker from “The Bachelorette.” Ed Herrera/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images via Getty Images

Luke first addressed his behavior on The Bachelorette in May, when he admitted to making “mistakes” with Brown. “I have learned a lot and I am continuing to learn about my flaws as a man,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m the first to admit I am far from perfect. This journey has giving [sic] me a great opportunity to grow and mature as a man, for that I am grateful.”

Luke was eliminated by Brown after their conversation about pre-marital sex during the July 15 episode. Days after his exit, he wrote on Instagram that he “didn’t totally behave as the man I want to be and I did not represent Christ the way I thought I was prepared to.” He also noted that he never intended to “judge or condemn” Brown.

Brown is now down to Peter Weber, Tyler Cameron and Jed Wyatt. Despite Luke’s departure, a sneak peek of the series’ next episode shows the first impression rose recipient returning to win back the pageant queen.

The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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