Matt James has more to say about the recent controversies involving Single host Chris Harrison and contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. The Bachelor released a lengthy statement on Instagram on Monday, addressing the “troubling” information that has emerged in recent weeks and promising fans that they will “hear more” from him on the matter.
In his second apology for defending the racist actions of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, Harrison announced on February 13 that he would be taking time off and not being the host of the next show. After the final rose special. Kirkconnell also apologized.
Read James’s full statement below:
“The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life, and while there are several episodes left in the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we finished filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison.
The reality is that I am learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly. Chris’s inability to receive and understand the emotional work my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on in gently and patiently explaining the racist history of Antebellum South, a painful story that every American should immediately understand, was disturbing and painful to watch. As Blacks and Allies knew and understood immediately, it was a clear reflection of a much larger problem that The Bachelor franchise has failed to adequately address for years.
This moment has sparked critical conversations and reporting, raised important questions, and resulted in inspiring displays of solidarity from the nation of The Bachelor. It has also pushed me to re-evaluate and process what my experience at The Bachelor represents, not just for me, but for all contestants of color, especially the black contestants from this season and past seasons, and for you viewers at home. .
I will continue to process this experience, and in the end, you will hear more from me. My biggest prayer is that this is a turning point that results in real, institutional change for the better. “
Right after james Single premiere in January, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell – one of the pioneers in the program – to intimidate her in the past for dating black men. So another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Photos of Kirkconnell have also appeared in an Old South plantation themed party while I was in college.
In a statement on Instagram on February 11, Kirkconnell apologized and said that he hoped “to earn your forgiveness through my future actions.”
That apology came a day after Harrison issued his own statement, apologizing for “speaking incorrectly in a way that perpetuates racism” by defending Kirkconnell’s racist actions in an interview with Rachel Lindsay, asking people to offer Kirkconnell “funny”.
Amid the controversy, James took to Instagram on February 12 to express his support for Lindsay.
“I am beyond grateful to have Rachel as a mentor this season. Your advocacy for the BIPOC people in the franchise is invaluable, I stand with you and the rest of the women advocating for change and responsibility,” he wrote.
Many fans continued to speak out against Harrison, while nearly every contestant on James’ season, including Kirkconnell, shared a post condemning “any defense of racism.”
In a follow-up statement on February 13, Harrison revealed that he would be away for a “period of time.”
“In excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke up the police’, which is unacceptable. I am ashamed of how uninformed I was. I was so wrong,” he continued in part, before sending a message to Black. and BIPOC communities.
“The historic season of The Bachelor it must not be clouded or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will step aside for a while, “Harrison wrote.