The Women of ‘The Bachelor’ Are Speaking Out in Support of Rachel Lindsay
If you follow the residents of Bachelor Nation on Instagram, you might have noticed the same message of support for Rachel Lindsay popping up in your feed over and over. That’s because the women of this season of The Bachelor have posted a joint statement addressing a recent controversy over contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s alleged racist actions, as well as Bachelor host Chris Harrison’s failure to properly denounce intolerance when given the opportunity.
In short, a tale of two Rach(a)el’s. Here’s everything you need to know about how this all played out, and how the people involved have responded.
Current Bachelor Matt James is the first Black man to lead the franchise; Rachel Lindsay broke that barrier on The Bachelorette a couple years ago. But while Lindsay’s season was (mostly) race-drama-free, it’s been an issue this year because of recently surfaced photos and stories involving contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, known on the show as Rachael K. It seems back in her sorority days, Kirkconnell attended an “Old South”–themed party.
This is problematic because, whatever the intention, it glorifies the culture of the antebellum South plantations, where white people enslaved others. Had these photos come to light during a season with a white lead, it still should have caused a stir: Wrong is wrong.
A few days after these pictures came to light, Harrison appeared on Extra alongside Lindsay to talk about the controversy…and then side-stepped it. After asking for “understanding” and “compassion” on Kirkconnell’s behalf, Harrison said, “I have seen some stuff online—this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her parents, her parents’ voting record…. Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this? I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that’s it,” per Us Weekly.
While the sentiment of patience and grace is, overall, not a bad attitude to take, he failed to acknowledge that there was anything to get upset over in the first place, asking, “These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time, they were 18 years old. Now, does that make it okay? I don’t know Rachel, you tell me. Were we all looking through [that lens] in 2018?”