Rachel Lindsay Says ‘Bachelor’Franchise Should Pause! Rachel Lindsay, the first-ever Black star of “The Bachelorette,” is calling out the ABC franchise for staying silent as the ongoing racial controversy involving host Chris Harrison and “The Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell continues to spiral.
On Lindsay’s podcast “Higher Learning,” which she hosts with Van Lathan, she said the show shouldn’t begin filming “The Bachelorette” until the franchise figures out how to handle its ever-mounting problems.
“They’re about to go into production for ‘The Bachelorette,’” Lindsay, who starred as “The Bachelorette” in 2017, said on the podcast, which went up early Tuesday morning. “I think they should just stop until … they get the train back on the tracks. You’re going to go another season, but you still have all of these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season? You really haven’t. I think that they need to take a beat, figure things out, regroup and then bring the product back to us in a way that we can all enjoy it like we used to.”
Earlier this year, when the current season of “The Bachelor” began airing, Kirkconnell — who remains a frontrunner contestant on Matt James’ season, which wraps up in two weeks — came under fire as older photos of her resurfaced on social media. In the pictures, she is seen in attendance at an Old South plantation-themed fraternity party. She also liked photos that contain images of the Confederate flag.
Following the social media controversy, Lindsay, who is a correspondent on “Extra,” interviewed Harrison on the entertainment news show and asked him his thoughts about Kirkconnell. Harrison went to great lengths to defend Kirkconnell, calling out the “woke police” and suggesting that the racist behavior was not as bad in 2018 as it would be today in 2021. Lindsay objected to that argument.
Since the widely criticized interview aired, the scandal has escalated, with Harrison stepping aside from the series (he won’t be hosting the “After the Final Rose” episodethis month), and numerous “Bachelor” alums calling out the franchise for its poor handling of race and diversity.
The Harrison controversy comes as “The Bachelor” is airing its first season with a Black lead, since the show debuted in 2002. The current season also features the most diverse pool of contestants in the franchise’s history.
Both Harrison and Kirkconnell issued their own apologies on their personal social media accounts — and on Tuesday, it was reported that Harrison will be interviewed by Michael Strahan on ABC’s “Good Morning America” this week. But ABC and Warner Bros., which produces “The Bachelor,” have not made any official comments regarding the controversy, though the executive producers of the franchise tweeted a statement yesterday, in support of Lindsay, who has been the target of hateful harassment, ever since her interview with Harrison.
Lindsay is now calling out the franchise for its silence.
“They need to come out and say something,” Lindsay said on the podcast.
“Right now, you’re letting your fans speak for you,” Lindsay said. “This is an audience you have curated for 15 years until you had the first lead of color, me. You have built this. These people feel like they had their world, and now people of color are trying to mess it up. You did this! So you need to speak out, and you need to say something — you need to undo it. And at the moment, they’re silent.”
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Rachel Lindsay Says ‘Bachelor’Franchise Should Pause!! Rachel Lindsay Says ‘Bachelor’Franchise Should Pause!