Carlton from 'Love Is Blind' still hoping for love
Posted March 3, 2020 10:01 a.m. EST
CNN — Carlton Morton isn't exactly the most popular member of the "Love Is Blind" cast at the moment.
That's because of a controversial, explosive fallout he and fellow cast member Diamond Jack had on the show.
"It's honestly been tough because it's something that I was not prepared for," Morton told CNN in a recent interview. "People say all the time, 'Well you should've known people would react this way,' but it's different when you're receiving death threats."
The new Netflix dating series has taken viewers by storm with its unique premise.
Couples "date" for 10 days by sitting in individual pods that allow them to speak with but not see each other.
If there is a proposal, they meet face to face afterward for the first time.
Such was the case with Morton and Jack, who seemed on their way to the altar until he shared with her that he identifies as sexually fluid and has dated both men and women.
Jack was not happy about him not sharing the news up front. What followed was an argument in which she removed her engagement ring, he then tossed it and used the "b-word."
Morton now says it wasn't his finest moment.
"There were just some things that were triggered once we began having the conversation and kinda her response to me. Even the night before when we had the big conversation, it kinda was like, the first question was, 'Well, do you want to be with a man?'" he said. "And it's kinda like, well, no, that's the whole point of me being a fluid. I just love people. So why is that the immediate go to? It kinda made me super defensive and it made me shut down."
The scene resonated with many women -- especially black women -- and sparked social media conversations about the stigma of black men "on the down low," which refers to men who quietly have sexual relationships with other men, while openly being in relationships with women.
Some viewers have debated whether opting out of a relationship with a man who has been intimate with other men is homophobic or simply a matter of choice.
For his part, Morton said he's the opposite of being "down low."
"I told her on a platform that has 190 million subscribers globally," Morton said, adding he didn't regret the timing of when he told Jack his truth.
"I regret the way that I responded to [her response]" he said.
That sentiment seems to have been shared by Jack, who told People magazine that she was trying to understand where Morton was coming from at the time and would have changed her approach if she could.
"Maybe I should have been more encouraging and maybe start off saying, 'I'm happy you were able to open up to me. I'm happy you're able to bring this to my attention at this moment in time,'" she said. "Or, 'I'm happy you came out. I know this is very hard for you to do that.' That possibly could have changed that whole outcome of how we were aggressive toward each other," Jack said.
With so much controversy over how their relationship ended, Morton said he believes a larger conversation is being ignored.
"I do feel like the true story there about bisexual men is being overlooked, because people are so angry at an argument between two people who were faced with a new situation that they had neither one had ever been in before," he told CNN.
Not that Morton wasn't familiar with reality TV. He's appeared on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in his role as an employee of cast member Cynthia Bailey.
"The first time I did a reality TV, it was because of work and this time it was because of like trying to find true love," he said. "Being a part of this experiment, I did know that people would have their opinions and be watching it with me. But it's just something that you still are, no matter if you know that or not, you still are just not prepared for it."
The LGBTQ community has been supportive, he said.
The show was filmed back in 2018.
"This was obviously filmed at a time in my life that it was difficult for me to understand the new chapter and coming out as a fluid or bisexual male, Morton reflected.
"It was just a lot of pressure," he said. "I've always felt like I had to defend myself and take up for myself. I think in that moment I made some decisions that I'm not proud of. After the show, I've met with therapists and spiritual advisers who helped me and I've grown since then. I want people to know that my heart is bigger than my mishaps."
He also wants people to know that he hasn't given up on finding "the one" and would be willing to give Netflix another shot at helping him.
"It has been the most amazing experience and experiment ever," he said. "I have no regrets. I'm actually trying to see if they can still help me find love."
The "Love Is Blind" reunion show is set to debut on March 5.