Rachel Lindsay Says Bachelor Franchise Should Halt Production

The Bachelor franchise has taken a lot of heat lately. The controversy started about half way through Matt James’ historic season of the long running ABC reality show. James is the first Black Bachelor featured on the show throughout its 25 seasons. A contestant and strong front-runner for James’ pick, 24-year-old Rachael Kirkconnell, came under fire for racist pictures that were found on her social media accounts. The posts in question were photos from an Antebellum/Old South plantation-themed party she attended in 2018. Kirkconnell had also apparently liked social media posts that contained images of the Confederate flag. 

Things really got out of hand when longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison was interviewed by former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra. Harrison essentially defended Kirkconnell’s behavior and, when Lindsay asked specifically about the 2018 Antebellum-themed party photos, Harrison said, “Is it a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021?… 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that people went to. We are not looking under the same lens.” He repeatedly refused to condemn Kirkconnell’s behavior when Lindsay pressed him, and additionally referred to the people calling out her racist behavior as “the woke police.” After the interview was met with severe backlash, Harrison posted an apology of sorts on his social media accounts. Kirkconnell also issued an apology. Harrison will not be returning as host for “After the Final Rose,” which is the conclusion episode of James’ season. He announced that he will be stepping away from the franchise for an unspecified amount of time. 

Lindsay, who was the first Black Bachelorette in 2017, is involved in several podcasts. In an episode of Higher Learning (her podcast that she hosts) that aired on Tuesday, Lindsay explained why she thinks the franchise should stop production until the controversy is fully dealt with, saying:  “They’re about to go into production for ‘The Bachelorette. I think they should just stop until … they get the train back on the tracks. You’re going to go another season, but you still have all of these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season? You really haven’t. I think that they need to take a beat, figure things out, regroup and then bring the product back to us in a way that we can all enjoy it like we used to.” She continued to call out the franchise and ABC: “They need to come out and say something. They need to grab ahold of this and control the situation, because right now, you’re letting your fans speak for you.” 

On the same podcast episode, Lindsay also addressed the reason as to why she deactivated her Instagram account last week, explaining that she was tired of the harassment and negativity she continued to face on the platform. “It was the best decision that I could [make] for myself to detach from that negativity. I needed that. I feel so much better. I’m not 100%, but I feel lighter,” she said. This episode of the podcast was taped Monday before Bachelor producers released a statement on Twitter condemning racist online bullying, in the wake of Lindsay’s Instagram step-away. There remains no official statement from either the network or the studio at this time. As for the new season of The Bachelorette and Chris Harrison’s return to the franchise, we’ll have to wait and see.


Join Our Mailing List

Recent Articles

Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!