Bachelor's Chris Harrison apologizes after 'perpetuating racism' as fans slam host for 'defending' Rachael Kirkconnell
BACHELOR’s Chris Harrison apologized after he was slammed for “perpetuating racism” as he “defended” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.
The longtime host of the franchise came under fire for his comments with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay about the Matt James frontrunners current “racist” scandal.
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Throughout the past week, Rachael, 24, has been criticized and even labeled “racist” by fans for resurfaced photos from 2018 showing her attending an “Old South” plantation party in an Antebellum dress.
She was also slammed for dressing up as a Native American and for engaging in controversial social media activity.
After fans slammed him for “defending” the reality star, Chris took to Instagram and apologized for the “mistake” in a lengthy post.
“To my Bachelor Nation family – I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology.
“I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed.
“While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf.”
He continued: “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.
“I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”
Responding to the backlash Rachael has continued to receive online, Chris, 49, asked for Bachelor Nation to have “compassion” for the reality contender.
In an interview Tuesday with Rachel Lindsay – the first Black lead in franchise history – the host said: “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion.
“Because I've seen some stuff online… again, this 'judge, jury, executioner' thing where people are just tearing this girl's life apart.
“And diving into…her parents voting record…it's unbelievably alarming to watch this! I haven't heard Rachael speak on this yet, and until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say [anything]?”
Chris then said it will be “interesting” when Rachael does speak as he “thinks she'll be able to give an eloquent enough reason for most reasonable people.
“But reasonable people aren't on social media, and that's who you're dealing with.”
Fans were furious with Chris’ comments and some even demanded the former Bachelorette take his job as host.
One person said: “Instead of Chris Harrison releasing a notes app apology to Rachel Lindsay for that disturbing interview in a few hours or days, how about ABC just gives her his job.”
“Not Chris Harrison defending racists… during black history month… with a black bachelor… it’s the stupidity and audacity for me,” another tweeted.
A third said: “Chris Harrison’s interview with Rachel Lindsay was disturbing and unsettling. At one point, I wasn’t sure if he was only defending Rachael's racism or his own. Lindsay deserves a raise.”
Rachael has not yet publicly commented and is still a contender for Matt James’ on The Bachelor.
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