As mounting off-camera controversies plague this season of The Bachelor, Matt James has remained silent. That is, till immediately.
What was meant to mark a historic milestone for the relationship competitors, with James cast as the primary Black Bachelor, has been marred by accusations of racism.
Sharing a statement to his Instagram shortly earlier than tonight’s episode was set to air, he wrote, “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, it will be significant that I take the time to handle the troubling info that has come to gentle since we wrapped filming, together with the extremely disappointing pictures of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison.”
“The actuality is that I’m studying about these conditions in real-time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking, to place it bluntly,” James continued. “Chris’s failure to obtain and perceive the emotional labor that my good friend 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 observe. As Black folks and allies instantly knew and understood, it was a transparent reflection of a a lot bigger concern that The Bachelor franchise has fallen quick on addressing adequately for years.”
Season frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell has been going through mounting accusations of racism, bullying, and cultural appropriation, seemingly coming to a head when pictures of her at an Antebellum-themed half surfaced on Reddit. She has since issued an apology on Instagram.
While discussing her accusations with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra, Chris Harrison referred to as for Kirkconnell to obtain “grace” from followers and questioned if the pictures have been thought of “not an excellent look” in 2018. In the aftermath of the interview, he was criticized for “perpetuating racism” and has since stepped apart.
Among the numerous Bachelor Nation stars responding to those occasions, all of this season’s contestants shared a joint assertion calling out racism within the franchise. The males in season 16 of The Bachelorette quickly adopted go well with with their very own joint assertion.
James touched upon these statements in his personal, writing, “This second has sparked crucial conversations and reporting, raised vital questions, and resulted in inspiring shows of solidarity from The Bachelor Nation. It has additionally pushed me to reevaluate and course of what my expertise on The Bachelor represents, not only for me, however for the entire contestants of colour, particularly the Black contestants of this season and seasons previous, and for you, the viewers at residence.”
The North Carolina native concluded his assertion, “I’ll proceed to course of this expertise, and you’ll hear extra from me ultimately. My biggest prayer is that that is an inflection level that leads to actual and institutional change for the higher.”