Matt James has damaged his silence on the escalating controversy surrounding the show, as longtime host Chris Harrison stays beneath hearth for perpetuating racism throughout a current interview.
James, the primary Black star of “The Bachelor,” is not only calling out Harrison for his “troubling and painful” phrases, however can be holding the over franchise accountable for its dealing with of variety and race over the 20 years it has been on-air.
“The previous few weeks have been a few of the most difficult of my life, and whereas there are a number of episodes left of the season, it is crucial that I take the time to handle the troubling info that has come to gentle since we wrapped filming,” James wrote on his Instagram on Monday, hours earlier than a brand new episode of “The Bachelor” is ready to air on ABC.
The controversy first erupted earlier this yr, when former images of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell — a at present frontrunner, who continues to be within the operating on James’ season — emerged on social media, exhibiting her in attendance at an antebellum-themed fraternity formal in 2018. Kirkconnell was additionally accused on TikTok of racially-insensitive conduct, together with liking images containing the Confederate flag.
Harrison then went on the leisure information show, “Extra,” to take a seat down with former “Bachelorette” and correspondent, Rachel Lindsay, who requested Harrison in regards to the controversy surrounding Kirkconnell. During the prolonged dialogue with Lindsay, Harrison went to nice lengths to seemingly defend Kirkconnell, which resulted in widespread criticism and led to Harrison issuing an apologyfor “talking in a way that perpetuates racism.”
Soon after, Harrison introduced he can be stepping except for the franchise for a time frame, together with not showing on “After the Final Rose,” which is able to function the ultimate episode of James’ season.
In his assertion on Monday, James took difficulty with each Harrison and the “extremely disappointing” images of Kirkconnell, along with the franchise as a complete, which he says has “fallen quick” with regards to coping with variety and race.
“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 wrote.
“Chris’s 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,” James continued. “As Black folks and allies instantly knew and understood, it was a transparent reflection of a a lot bigger difficulty that ‘The Bachelor’ franchise has fallen quick on addressing adequately for years.”
More to return…