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The Bachelor Has Fallen: Chris Harrison, Matt James, and Racism – Jezebel

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Illustration for article titled The Bachelor Franchise Is in Deep Trouble

Image: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

What the hell is going on at The Bachelor?

The drama of Matt James’s season—currently airing, he’s the show’s first Black Bachelor despite the fact that the franchise has been on the air for over two decades—has been eclipsed by online controversy. Here’s the abridged: Rachel KirkConnell, a top-three contestant on James’ season, posted pictures at an antebellum-themed sorority party three years ago, inciting justifiable allegations of racism from Bachelor Nation. Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, asked host Chris Harrison about the incident, and he put his foot straight in his mouth, essentially alluding to the fact that the picture was probably fine because it was taken in 2018 and not 2021. “I am not the woke police,” he offered. KirkConnell apologized. Harrison did, too, and announced he and ABC decided to remove him from the “After the Final Rose” episode this season, since it hadn’t been filmed yet. The following week, James released his own statement, writing, “Watching Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch.”

Former contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette showed their support for James. TMZ reported that ABC might hire someone who doesn’t even exist in The Bachelor world to host the “After the Final Rose” episode for Harrison, because Rachel Lindsay reportedly said no.

On Monday, Lindsay did, however, address KirkConnell’s on her “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast with, “You almost feel like you know everything you need to know about her in that picture. The fact that that’s what she decided to do… Her apology was well-written, it was pretty and it was sincere. I’m not going to knock anyone’s apology. But then the next step is to take action.” She also said she wants former football star, author, and host of the web show Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man Emmanuel Acho to fill in for Harrison, but at that point, shouldn’t he just take over the series? Someone else should, at least, because the franchise has fallen. Bye, bye, Bachelors. [TMZ]

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Illustration for article titled The Bachelor Franchise Is in Deep Trouble

Image: VALERIE MACON/AFP (Getty Images)

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