Matt James has finally broken his silence on The Bachelor’s Rachel Lindsay racism controversy. The Bachelor star took to his social media to show his support for the community and also talk about the host, Chris Harrison’s “troubling and painful” words.
Chris Harrison had earlier apologized for his remark and stepped down as the host from the show. But it seems like, among the other celebrities, Matt James also wants more than an apology from the show’s host.
Matt James says it is “devastating and heartbreaking”
Matt James wrote, “The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life, and while there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming,” on his Instagram on Monday.
He also commented on Rachael Kirkconnell “incredibly disappointing” photos and said that it was the whole franchise who has “fallen short” in dealing with diversity and race.
“The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly,” James wrote.
“Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch,” James continued. “As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that ‘The Bachelor’ franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years.”
“This moment has sparked critical conversations and reporting, raised important questions and resulted in inspiring displays of solidarity from The Bachelor nation,” James continued. “It has also pushed me to reevaluate and process what my experience on ‘The Bachelor’ represents, not just for me, but for all of the contestants of color, especially the Black contestants of this season and seasons past, and for you, the viewers at home.”
Matt James finally concluded his statement by writing, “I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from me in the end. My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better.”
What is The Bachelor‘s racism controversy about ?
The controversy started when former contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s photographs emerged on social media from an antebellum-themed fraternity formal in 2018. She was accused of racially-insensitive behavior on TikTok and also included liking photos containing the Confederate flag. Chris Harrison defended the former on the “Extra” show where Rachel Lindsay, asked him about Kirkconnell’s behavior. The host went to extreme lengths to defend the Bachelorette and thus ended up “speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.”
Chris Harrison had officially apologized about the matter on his Instagram handle and had stepped down as a host from the show for an unannounced period. He will also not be appearing for the Matt James season’s finale “After the Final Rose”.
Matt James says he will give benefit of the doubt to Rachael Kirkconnell
Matt James had earlier talked about The Bachelor‘s racism controversy in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in early February. Several other women have also posted their dislike regarding the racism from James’ season.
“I have not spoken to anybody since the show ended, but I would say that you have to be really careful about what you are doing on social media,” James said when asked about the allegations. “Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people’s lives. So I would give people the benefit of the doubt, and hopefully she will have her time to speak on that.”