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‘The Bachelor’ Matt James responds to Chris Harrison and Rachael Kirkconnell controversy – Deadline

ABC’s first-ever noir romance film Matt James The single person, spoke out against controversies surrounding host Chris Harrison and contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. James posted a statement on Instagram on Monday condemning the actions of Harrison and Kirkconnell.

“The reality is that I am learning these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly,” he wrote. “Chris’s inability to receive and understand the emotional work my friend Rachel Lindsay was undertaking in gracefully and patiently explaining the racist story of Antebellum South, a painful story that every American should understand intimately, was unsettling and painful to watch. .

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James continues: “As Blacks and their allies immediately knew and understood, this was a clear reflection of a much larger problem that The Bachelor franchise has failed to adequately address for years.

Earlier this month, Kirkconnell received backlash after photos showing the 24-year-old attending a formal pre-war plantation fraternity in 2018 recently resurfaced. The candidate apologized for the old photos, noting that she was ignorant and that her “ignorance was racist”.

Kirkconnell’s photos became the subject of an interview between Harrison and candidate Rachel Lindsay. In the Additional interview, Harrison defended the season favorite, noting the photos were taking a long time ago and suggesting Kirkconnell has become a target of cancellation culture. Following the interview and the social media reaction, Harrison has stepped down as host and will not appear in the show’s recap episode.

With racism and racial issues in the Bachelor Nation spotlight, James said controversies have prompted him to “re-evaluate and address what my experience on The Bachelor represents” for applicants of color, especially black applicants.

“I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from me at the end,” he wrote. “My biggest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better.”

See James’ full statement below.

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