Bachelor Nation alums are calling out Chris Harrison after he spoke out about the social media controversy involving Rachael Kirkconnell. The host later apologized after receiving backlash from fans who thought he was being too sympathetic toward the contestant from Matt James’ season.
The drama began when Rachael, who is a frontrunner on season 25, came under fire when a TikTok user accused her of mistreating her in high school, saying the graphic designer “bullied” her for “liking Black guys.” Shortly after, another TikTok user claimed the contestant “liked” racist photos on Instagram that contained the Confederate flag and QAnon conspiracy theories. Since then, more insensitive photos of Rachael began circulating, including the Georgia native attending an Old South antebellum party in 2018.
While Rachael, 24, eventually issued a public apology on Thursday, February 11, the Bachelor host appeared on Extra on Tuesday, February 9, beforehand to talk about the situation with host and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
“First and foremost, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it. And this is, again, where we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” the ABC personality said. “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, like, her parents and 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 any of this?”
The Extra host then pointed out the photos of Rachael attending the antebellum party in 2018 was “not a good look” because the contestant was “celebrating the Old South.”
“Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021?” Chris asked, to which Rachel replied, “It’s not a good look ever.”
“You’re 100 percent right in 2021,” Chris continued. “That was not the case in 2018. And again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it; I didn’t go to it.”
After the host’s comments received negative attention, Chris released a public apology the following day.
“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology,” he wrote via Instagram on February 10. “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. 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.”
Members of Bachelor Nation are speaking out against Chris amid Rachael’s controversy. Keep scrolling to see their statements.
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