Longtime host of the ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, Chris Harrison faces increasing backlash online after appearing to defend a contestant accused of racist acts. Franchise Owner Rachel LindsayOne of the show’s strongest advocates for racial justice, said Friday that she would not renew her contract with the franchise as a result of Harrison’s comments.
The controversy began after pictures surfaced of Rachel Kirkconnell, this season’s contestant from “The Bachelor,” attending a pre-war themed party in 2018.
Here’s a breakdown of how:
Harrison interview with Rachel Lindsey
Lindsay Harrison asked about Kirkconnell’s photos during an interview on Tuesday. Kirkconnell’s season features Matt James as the Bachelor, marking the first time the franchise has chosen a black man for the role.
“We all need a little grace, a little understanding, a little sympathy,” Harrison told Lindsay. “Because I’ve seen some things on the Internet – this judge, jury, executioner – where people are ripping apart this girl’s life and diving, like her parents, her parents’ vote record. It’s incredibly disturbing to watch this. I haven’t heard Rachel talking about this yet. And until I really hear that this woman has a chance to speak up, who am I to say any of this? ”
Lindsay replied, “Well, the photo was from 2018 at the old Southern pre-war party.” “This is not a good look.”
“Is it a good outlook in 2018 or is it not a good one in 2021?” Harrison asked.
“It’s not a good look at all,” said Lindsay, adding, “If I go to this party, what am I going to represent in that party?”
“You are 100% right in 2021,” Harrison said, estimating that “that wasn’t the case in 2018,” estimating that “50 million people did that in 2018.”
“That was a kind of party,” he said, adding that he “does not defend them.”
Harrison and Kirkconnell apologize
After facing a backlash to his comments, Harrison posted an apology on social media on Wednesday.
He said, “To my bachelor family – I’ll always make a mistake when I do wrong, so I’m here to make a sincere apology.” “I have this great platform for talking about love, and yesterday I took a stand on the topics I should have known better.”
He continued, “Although I do not speak for Rachel Kirkconnell, my intention was simply to ask for mercy to give her a chance to speak on her behalf.” “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a way that perpetuates racism, which is why I am so sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not hearing her better on a topic she has a direct understanding of, and modestly thanking the members of the Bachelor Nation who Contact me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better. “
Kirkconnell also apologized on Thursday, Writing on Instagram, “I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist. I am sorry to the societies and individuals that my actions have offended my actions and offended me. I feel ashamed of the lack of education, but it is not the responsibility to educate me.”
“I deserve to be held accountable for my actions,” she added. “I will never grow unless I realize that what I did was wrong. I don’t think a single apology means that I deserve your forgiveness, but I do hope to obtain your forgiveness through my future actions.”
The stars of the franchise are talking
Lindsay, who hosts a BA podcast and has frequently appeared on the show, said she will not renew her contract with the franchise when it expires.
“I’m exhausted,” Lindsay said on Friday’s episode of her podcast. “Higher education.”
“The whole reason I did” The Bachelorette “- and I was lucky that he worked for me the most beautiful way to find Bryan – is because I wanted to be a black woman actress for this audience. And I wanted to pave the way for more people to have that opportunity,” Lindsay said on his podcast .
“But how much do I want to belong to? How much can I afford things like this? I said I’d leave if they didn’t have colored strings. Well, they did, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity counselor – who didn’t attend class.” Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I am confused about how you can have full advisors working with you, but what just happened. “
“I can’t stand it anymore,” said Lindsay. “I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s over, so am I. I can’t do it anymore.”
James also spoke about his support for Lindsay.
James wrote of his book: “I am very grateful to have Rachel as a mentor this season.” Instagram story Friday. “Your advocacy for the BIPOC franchise is invaluable, and I stand with you and with the rest of the women advocating for change and accountability.”
Taychia Adams, the newest bachelorette, said of her Instagram story She said Friday that she was “touched, disappointed, and really confused” by the “ignorance” she saw surrounding conversations about race this week.
Adams, who is Black, added that she was “really hurt” by the response to Kirkconnell’s actions, which she described as blatant racism.
A large number of contestants for the Adams season shared a message on Instagram on Friday, “Denouncing racist behavior and any defense of it.” They added that they “stand united” with Lindsay.
Season 25a contestants have also posted Joint statement On Thursday, Instagram condemned any “defense of racism”.
The statement reads, “Any defense of racist behavior negates the live and ongoing experiences of BIPOC individuals.” “These experiences should not be exploited or symbolized.”
It concluded, “Rachel Lindsay continues to defend individuals who consider BIPOC within this privilege“ with honor. ”Just because she speaks loudest, does not mean that she is alone. We stand with her, hear her, and call for change with her. “