Bachelor’s Matt James Speaks Out Over Chris Harrison, Rachael Scandal

Showing solidarity. Matt James addressed the controversy surrounding Chris Harrison‘s Bachelor stepdown following his feedback about season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnelland allegations of racism.

“The previous few weeks have been among the most difficult of my life, and whereas there are a number of episodes left of the season,” James, 29, wrote via Instagram on Monday, February 22. “It is necessary that I take the time to handle the troubling data that has come to mild since we wrapped filming, together with the extremely disappointing photographs of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison.”

The ABC Food Tours founder, who was named the primary Black Bachelor in June 2020, revealed that he has been processing the scandal since Harrison’s controversial interview with Lindsay, 35, earlier this month. In his dialog with the previous Bachelorette lead, the Bachelor Nation host, 49, got here to Kirkconnell’s protection after she was accused of racist actions.

Matt James, Chris Harrison and Rachael Kirkconnell. ABC/Craig Sjodin (2); Courtesy Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram

“The actuality is that I’m studying about these conditions in actual time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to place it bluntly,” James defined. “Chris’ failure to obtain and perceive the emotional labor that my pal Rachel Lindsay was taking up by graciously and patiently explaining the racist historical past of the Antebellum South, a painful historical past that each American ought to perceive intimately, was troubling and painful to look at.”

He famous that “Black individuals and allies instantly knew and understood” what was flawed with Harrison’s response to questions on Kirkconnell’s previous actions — together with attending a plantation-themed faculty occasion in 2018 and “liking” photographs that had a accomplice flag within the background.

“It was a transparent reflection of a a lot bigger problem that The Bachelor franchise has fallen quick on addressing adequately for years,” James stated. “This second has sparked crucial conversations and reporting, raised necessary questions, and resulted in inspiring shows of solidarity from The Bachelor nation.”

On a private be aware, he stated it has “pushed me to reevaluate and course of what my expertise on The Bachelor represents, not only for me, however for all of the contestants of shade, particularly the Black contestants of this season and seasons previous, and for you, the viewers at house.”

The Wake Forest University alum vowed that followers will “hear extra from me ultimately” as he continues to course of what has transpired.

“My best prayer is that that is an inflection level that ends in actual and institutional change for the higher,” he concluded.

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