‘Bachelor’ Franchise Veterans Speak Out After Chris Harrison’s Apology, Criticize ‘Double Standard’ Of ‘Grace’
Tensions are rising throughout “Bachelor Nation” right now. There have been a number of discussions related to race and racism in recent days as a result of some allegations related to Matt James’ frontrunner Rachel Kirkconnell. Host Chris Harrison did an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsey this week and he subsequently apologized via a social media statement after receiving a lot of backlash over what he said. Now, quite a few former contestants of color are sharing their thoughts.
As inTouch details, a former high school classmate of Rachael’s alleged that she’d been bullied by The Bachelor star for dating someone black. Since then, there have been questions asked regarding “likes” that Rachael made on Instagram that were connected to the Confederate flag or QAnon theories. In addition, photos of Rachael wearing a Native American costume and attending a fraternity formal at a plantation have escalated the discourse.
Chris received quite a bit of criticism over what he said in this week’s interview, in large part because many felt he’d been dismissive of Rachel.
He seemed cavalier about the idea of being “woke,” and he questioned whether the plantation photo from 2018 should be a big deal. He also suggested that people were rushing to judgment and that “cancel culture” was going too far.
Taylor Nolan, from Nick Viall’s Bachelor season, has also been increasingly vocal about issues of race and the franchise over the past few months. She talked about the “Chris Harrison Foolery” via Instagram for nearly two hours to make her feelings known.
“It’s crazy how hard this franchise will protect its cookie cutter contestants but wouldn’t give half of that energy to their contestants of color,” tweeted Tammy Ly from Peter Weber’s Bachelor season.
“Ridiculous how many cast members, including myself, received NUMEROUS racist messages but never did we receive any acknowledgment from production. I guess our grace and compassion got lost in the mail??? The double standard makes me sick,” tweeted Onyeka Ehie, who appeared during Colton Underwood’s run.
Khaylah Epps, from Matt’s current journey, tweeted that it had been very upsetting to see someone “do straight up gymnastics to try and excuse racist behavior.” She added that it was a direct slap in the face and inexcusable.
Fellow bachelorette contestant from this winter, Pieper James, noted on Twitter that black women from The Bachelor franchise always had to be “hyper aware” of their grace because it wouldn’t be extended to them.
Diggy Moreland, from Rachel’s run, posted several tweets regarding the issue. He questioned the quality of the vetting in not noticing this issue with Rachael and he dismissed the idea that the 2018 plantation party was so long ago it was irrelevant.
Viewers met Jubilee Sharpe when she participated in Ben Higgins’ Bachelor journey, and she had a few things to say on her Twitter page about all of this too. In part, she noted in a tweet that it wasn’t shocking to hear that Chris had defended racist behavior.
Other former cast members of color who took to Twitter or Instagram to share similar sentiments included Ivan Hall, Katie Morton, Jasmine Goode, and Mike Johnson.
Fans and former cast members of all types have spoken out about what Chris said and how he said it in his Extra interview with the former Bachelorette. It seems that to most, his apology was insufficient, and many people will be watching to see what he does next.