Bachelor Nation continues to fumble with its racism problem, as executive producers of the ABC franchise have finally decided to speak up in defense of former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. The statement, posted to Twitter on Monday evening ahead of last night’s “Women Tell All” edition of The Bachelor, addressed the “totally unacceptable” treatment of Lindsay, “which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism.”
Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette, recently left Instagram after enduring persistent racist harassment from Bachelor fans in the wake of her interview with series host Chris Harrison, who defended current Bachelor finalist Rachel Kirkconnell amid allegations of racist behavior—including, notably, photos of Kirkconnell from a 2018 college party with an antebellum theme. Kirkconnell subsequently apologized and asked fans to stop defending her behavior. Harrison also issued an apology for “perpetuating racism” and announced he’s taking a hiatus, and will not host the “After The Final Rose” special at the end of the current season. Taking his place is Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL player and host of the Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man podcast, which shares a title with the book he authored. Lindsay actually suggested Acho for the job in a recent interview with People, describing him as “very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, ‘I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.’ Who better to lead it?” She went on to observe that Acho’s lack of existing ties with the franchise would work to his benefit as host of the special.
Following that announcement, Kirkconnell posted a photo to Instagram in which she can be seen reading Acho’s book. The staged nature of the photo led many to question her motives, including Lindsay, who addressed Kirkconnell’s apology and the photo on a recent episode of the Bachelor Party podcast (via Vulture):
You almost feel like you know everything you need to know about her in that picture. The fact that that’s what she decided to do. Several people sent me that Story. Her apology was well-written, it was pretty, and it was sincere. I’m not going to knock anyone’s apology. But then the next step is to take action. Taking action to me isn’t showing everybody that you’re reading the book. You have such a big platform. There’s a lot of people who don’t necessarily understand what Chris said in the interview or why people are so upset, so this is an opportunity for you to explain that.