Rachel Lindsay is making her position clear. The 35-year-old TV host and first Black Bachelorette gave her unfiltered thoughts Friday during her podcast: Higher Education with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay.
Over the course of the episode, Lindsay opened up about the recent controversy surrounding her interview with Bachelor Nation host and executive producer Chris Harrison, in which she asked about the alleged racist behavior of this season’s contestant and alleged favorite, Rachael Kirkconnell.
Harrison has since issued a formal apology for his comments in defense of Kirkconnell, saying he “should have been better informed” on the issues discussed, adding: “While I am not speaking on behalf of Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were to simply ask grace by offering him an opportunity to speak on his own behalf. What I now realize that I have done is cause harm by speaking incorrectly in a way that perpetuates racism, and I am deeply sorry. “
On her podcast, Lindsay responded to Harrison’s actions and subsequent apology.
“He never gave me space to speak and he never gave me space to share my perspective,” she said of her.Extra interview with Harrison. “I wasn’t trying to listen to him. I was just trying to be heard. And that’s because I felt like I had an agenda that I was really trying to push forward.”
Lindsay added that she deliberately remained calm during the interview and did not speak.
“The reason is that once I do [react or show emotion], that’s all people will see. I will be angry. I will be aggressive. You won’t listen to what I’m saying, “he said.” You won’t listen to what the other person, Chris Harrison in this case, was saying. You will only see the reaction. And when I saw how this interview was going, I said, ‘I’m going to sit down and let this man speak.
Lindsay also shared that Harrison approached her directly before issuing a public apology.
“He’s apologized ever since, and I definitely mean he came up to me and we had a conversation, a short conversation, but a conversation and he apologized and I appreciate it,” she shared about Harrison. “And then he made the statement.”
But Lindsay noticed that the Bachelor Nation host’s words didn’t ring true to her.
“I am having a hard time reasoning or assimilating and accepting this apology and I’ll tell you why,” he said. “When I finished the interview with Chris Harrison, he had no problem with it. He was fine. He texted me afterwards. He appreciated the conversation. He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably get a little criticism.’ He thought it was cool that we could disagree, but do it in a civilized way. ”
Lindsay said her apology didn’t come until after the reaction that followed the interview.
“It wasn’t until the backlash came, it wasn’t until people started talking, people started demanding and asking for different things that he then apologized to me and then publicly apologized,” he said.
Lindsay called him the “face of the franchise” and added that she felt Harrison’s comments during the interview were a reflection of the show itself.
“I don’t like to label people, racist is a very strong word. There is racism implicit, absolutely,” he said when asked by his podcast co-host if the franchise was “racist.” “The Bachelor the franchise has a racial problem … you have to hide under a rock not to realize it. “
Lindsay went on to say that she is “exhausted” by the various race-related controversies at the Bachelor Nation in recent years.
“I wanted the franchise to be better. I have a love / hate relationship with her. I am connected to her. She did things for me and I will never forget it, but how much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take from this? “He asked before confirming,” I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound somehow, but when it’s over, so am I. I can’t. I can’t do it anymore. ”
As for Kirkconnell, Lindsay noted, “Chris was embarrassed by her statement.” But that a simple apology is not enough.
“I would like to remind everyone that an apology is a step, a small step in the right direction, but it is just an apology,” he said. “We have to see it. Now, I’m holding onto what you said. It’s great that you said it, it’s great that you said it. I’m forcing you to do it. However, I’ll be honest, my other side doesn’t care. It took you six weeks to tackle something that has been festering. Six weeks. “
After Matt James Single released last month, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell – one of the show’s early favorites – to intimidate her in the past for dating black men. Last week, 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.
Kirkconnell also republished a letter from his co-stars this season in his Stories, denouncing racism.
“We are the women of Single Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC participated in this historic season that was intended to represent change, “the message read.” We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and ongoing experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences must not be exploited or tokenized. ”
ET recently spoke with James about his reaction to the Kirkconnell scandal. This is what he had to say: