“F–k it. People are telling me I shouldn’t say something; I’m gonna say something about this. There’s been this picture that’s resurfaced of me wearing a jacket that had a Confederate flag on it. That jacket was given to me by my ex — his dad, actually gave it to me — and I had no idea, like, the weight that the Confederate flag held whenever I was wearing it,” Demi, 25, who appeared on Colton Underwood‘s season of The Bachelor in 2019, began in an Instagram Story on Monday, February 15.
“I just wore it for that one night and it was a Yeezy jacket, I thought it was so cool. I was like, ‘Yeah, Yeezy!’ Pay attention to that … that’s ignorance. That’s ignorant of me not to pay attention to the Confederate flag. Even more ignorant of me to not even know how harmful that is to people,” the Texas native continued. “So, like, yeah, I royally f–ked up wearing that. I am so f–king sorry. I’m disgusted with myself. I’m embarrassed. It doesn’t even matter how I feel. I’m just so f–king sorry. That’s not what I stand for. That’s not what I’m about.”
In a follow-up Story, Demi continued, “I’ve been an ignorant, self-absorbed sack of s–t for most of my life. So, I genuinely had no idea what I was representing by wearing the jacket. I have no excuses … I know better now, did not know better then. Be better than me. Don’t look up to me. Look up to being better than me. I really f–king hate myself for being ignorant. This is the time to change the world, make it better — and I made it worse. So I’m really, really sorry.”
The former Bachelor in Paradise star’s statement comes just days after the controversy surrounding franchise host Chris Harrison‘s comments on Rachael Kirkconnell. Shortly after Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor premiered in early January, accusations against Rachael, 24, of past racist behavior began to surface.
Most notably, the Cumming, Georgia, native was photographed at an “Old South” plantation party while attending Georgia College & State University in 2018. All of the women at the event wore Antebellum-style dresses. Prior to Rachael issuing an apology for her actions, Chris, 49, spoke about the situation with Rachel Lindsay during a February 9 virtual interview on Extra.
After Rachel, 35, who was the first-ever Black Bachelorette in season 13, pointed out attending an “Old South” party isn’t “a good look,” Chris countered, “You’re 100 percent right in 2021. 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.”
Immediately after the interview aired, Chris issued an apology of his own. “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 wrote in an Instagram Story. “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.”