This has already been quite the week for Bachelor Nation. While we should have been focused on the latest happenings on Season 25 as Matt James tries to find love, that search has been overshadowed by the pre-show behavior of current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Several people online have pointed out the racist activities which Rachael has been a part of over the past several weeks. But, things really came to a head when former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay asked franchise host Chris Harrison about the controversy, and he appeared very determined to defend the contestant. Harrison soon issued an official apology, but now Lindsay is saying she will not renew her contract with the franchise.
Rachel Lindsay spoke about her interview with Harrison on the podcast she co-hosts with Van Lathan, Higher Learning, and was clearly fed up with acting as a representative for the Bachelor franchise. After talking about how she needed to stay completely calm so that people wouldn't pay attention to her reaction, but what Chris Harrison was saying, Lindsay noted that she decided to sit back and let him talk so his seeming defense of the contestant could stand for itself. When asked by her co-host where this leaves her with the franchise, Lindsay said:
As far as me, I’m fucking tired. I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough...I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t do it anymore.
As anyone who pays attention to Bachelor Nation will know, not only does Rachel Lindsay make appearances on the shows from time to time, she also co-hosts the franchise's official podcast with another former Bachelorette, Becca Kufrin. And, In the past year especially, Rachel has had to speak out a lot when it comes to racial bias, racism and other huge problems within the franchise. When 2019's Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, put up a video on her social media where she used a racial epithet while singing along to a song, Lindsay consulted with her and spoke out against it, but also noted at the time how tired she was of having to deal with such issues in Bachelor Nation.
While speaking about her interview with Harrison and the aftermath, Rachel Lindsay also said that he appeared completely comfortable with what he had to say, seeing as how he didn't do the interview with any public relations people joining in, and noted, in part:
If he's speaking out in an interview, in this way, to discuss things related to the Bachelor franchise, then what does that really say about the franchise? If this is your face, this is your spokesperson, and what he really feels?...My entire reason for doing The Bachelorette is that I wanted to be representative as a Black woman to this audience. And I wanted to pave the way for more people to have this opportunity. In some ways that has happened. I wanted the franchise to be better. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I’m connected to it. It did stuff for me, and I’ll never forget that.
But how much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take of things like this? I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. Okay, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant — who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I’m confused as to how you could have whole consultants working for you, yet what happened just happened.
She also said that he later apologized to her personally before putting out his public apology. But, according to Lindsay, the order of what happened in the aftermath doesn't sit well with her:
I'm having a really, really hard time really taking in and accepting that apology. When I finished that interview with Chris Harrison, he had no problems with it. He was fine. He texted me after..He appreciated the conversation, thought it was great that we could disagree, but do it in a civil way. It wasn't until the backlash came the next day...that he then apologized to me and then apologized publicly...To me, Tuesday [when the interview was held] was your truth, and Wednesday was a response to the backlash.
For what it's worth, Rachael Kirkconnell, just last night, finally issued her own apology for her past behavior, and appears to have taken full responsibility for her actions. But, it sounds like it could all be too late for Rachel Lindsay, who seems to be past her breaking point when it comes to problematic activity in the Bachelor franchise.