The former Bachelorette, 35, interviewed the longtime host for Extra on Tuesday, February 9. Chris, 49, has since received backlash from fans who thought his comments were making light of the situation and not holding Rachael, 24, accountable.
“First and foremost, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it,” the ABC personality admitted. “And this is, again, where 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, 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?”
Rachael, who released a public apology on Thursday, February 11, came under fire after a TikTok user accused the season 25 contestant of “bullying” her in high school for “liking Black guys.” Another TikTok video began circulating alleging that Rachael “liked” racist social media posts, specifically some that featured the Confederate flag. Then, photos surfaced of the Georgia native attending an “Old South” antebellum-themed fraternity party in 2018, which the Extra host said was “not a good look.”
“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,” the ABC personality 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.”
Chris released an apology the following day via Instagram. “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 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,” his statement continued. “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.”
That being said, Rachel did not hold back when it came to her disappointment with the franchise during the current situation. “My days are numbered,” the former Bachelorette wrote in response to a fan who tweeted that the lawyer is “so generous and giving to this franchise,” and they “do not deserve her.”
The Dallas native posted an Instagram photo of herself meditating on Thursday, February 11, and the caption seemingly pointed to her drama with Chris.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference,” her caption read.
Keep scrolling to see the Bachelor Nation alums who are supporting Rachel Lindsay!
1 of 11
2 of 11
3 of 11
4 of 11
5 of 11
6 of 11
7 of 11
8 of 11
9 of 11
10 of 11
11 of 11