After weeks of controversy stirred by his historic season, The Bachelor star Matt James is making his voice heard.
James launched a press release on Instagram on Monday reacting to the controversy sparked by not too long ago surfaced images of present contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at an Antebellum-themed get together, which romanticizes the pre-Civil War South and the period of slavery. (Kirkconnell apologized and acknowledged that her actions have been “offensive and racist.”) James, who’s the primary Black Bachelor in franchise historical past, known as the images “extremely disappointing” and mentioned that the controversy that adopted “has been devastating and heartbreaking, to place it bluntly,” including that “the previous few weeks have been a number of the most difficult of my life.”
But James was much more blunt when he turned to Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who tried to defend Kirkconnell in an interview with Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay and blamed “cancel tradition” for the controversy. (Harrison has since apologized for “perpetuating racism” together with his feedback and stepped except for the ABC actuality franchise quickly.) “Chris’s failure to obtain and perceive the emotional labor that my pal Rachel Lindsay was taking on 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,” James mentioned, including that “it was a transparent reflection of a a lot bigger difficulty that the Bachelor franchise has fallen quick on addressing adequately for years.”
The controversy has “sparked essential conversations and reporting, raised necessary questions, and resulted in inspiring shows of solidarity from” Bachelor Nation, James famous, and “it has additionally pushed me to revaluate and course of what my expertise on The Bachelor represents, not only for me, however for all the contestants of colour.” He ended with a hope “that that is an inflection level that ends in actual and institutional change for the higher.”
James’ Bachelor season airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC, with the season finale slated for March 15. As of now, Kirkconnell continues to be one of many 4 remaining contestants vying for James’ coronary heart.