Last year, when Matt James was announced as ABC’s “The Bachelor’s” first Black lead, it was greeted with considerable excitement, with producers hailing it as a crucial step in the franchise’s difficult history with race.
“We recognize we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we see onscreen are representative of the society we live in,” said Karey Burke, then-head of ABC Entertainment. “This is only the beginning; we will continue to take action on this franchise’s diversity challenges.”
But, halfway through James’ season, “The Bachelor” has been engulfed in a race controversy involving presenter Chris Harrison and one of the frontrunners for James’ affections, Rachael Kirkconnell, which has enraged both loyal fans and current and former cast members. The fury has only grown as a result of Harrison’s and Kirkconnell’s subsequent apologies.
The current season’s multicultural coalition made a statement.
On Thursday, a multicultural coalition of current season participants posted an Instagram statement expressing their dissatisfaction with “this historic season that was meant to signify progress.” Rachel Lindsay, a previous Black “Bachelorette,” stated on her Ringer podcast — she also co-hosts a “Bachelor”-branded podcast — that the show’s ongoing “racial problem” would cause her to leave after her contract expired.
“Your advocacy of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) people in the franchise is important,” James said on Instagram, praising Lindsay. I join you and the other women who are pushing for change and accountability.”
Requests for comment were not returned by ABC or Warner Bros., which produces “The Bachelor.”
The Upheaval Follows Abc and Its Parent Corporation, Disney’s, Announcement of A New Television Network.
The uproar comes just three years after one of ABC’s biggest stars, Roseanne Barr, sent a series of racist tweets, and only three years after the network’s parent company, Disney, heavily promoted new and existing diversity and inclusion programs showing sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement last summer. “Roseanne” was quickly canceled, and Barr was fired from the network.
During a Tuesday interview, the “bachelor” Saga Erupted.
Lindsay questioned Harrison about Kirkconnell’s delay in responding to several allegations of racism in her past, including attending and being photographed at an antebellum-themed fraternity party in 2018. The “Bachelor” controversy erupted Tuesday during an interview on “Extra,” when Lindsay questioned Harrison about Kirkconnell’s delay in responding to several allegations of racism in her past, including attending and being photographed at an antebellum-themed fraternity party in 2018.
“This judge-jury-executioner system is tearing this girl’s life apart,” Harrison pushed back, supporting Kirkconnell.
Lindsay Was Pushed Farther by Harrison.
Lindsay was pushed further by Harrison, who said that attending a celebration honoring the South’s racist, slave-owning past had only recently been deemed socially undesirable. “Does it seem good now, or does it look bad in 2021?” In 2018, more than 50 million people did so. People went to those kinds of gatherings. We don’t have the same perspective.”
While Harrison Stated in The Interview that He Was Aware of The Situation,
While Harrison acknowledged in the interview that Kirkconnell should have raised an objection with partygoers about the theme’s inappropriateness, he refused to condemn her actions or her failure to speak out about the controversy, at one point placing the Old South’s plantation houses in the same conversation about historical memory as Confederate monuments.
“Do you go rip everything down, rip up the earth, and dig deep enough to erase everything?” He also mentioned San Francisco‘s recent plan to rename 44 of its schools. “The awakened cops are on the case, and poor Rachael has just been thrown to the lions.”
On Thursday, She Was the Host of The Podcast “Higher Learning.”
Lindsay shared her displeasure with the brand when hosting the “Higher Learning” podcast on Thursday.
“As for me,” she admitted, “I’m f— exhausted.” “I’m completely worn out.” I’ve had it with this. I did ‘The Bachelorette’ because I wanted to be a Black woman representative to this audience… I wished for the franchise to improve; I have a love-hate connection with it. It’s something with which I’m involved. I’ll never forget what it did for me. But how much longer do I want to be a part of this? “Can I handle any more of this?” says the narrator.
Lindsay also discussed the show’s recent adjustments, such as the addition of a diversity consultant. “Was there anyone who didn’t show up for a class?” Chris Harrison sat through all of that, didn’t he? I’m perplexed as to how you could have a whole team of consultants — consultants — working for you and then have something like this happen. I’ve had enough of it. In certain senses, I’m obligated by contract, but I’m also obligated when it expires. I’m not going to be able to. “I’m sorry, but I’m no longer capable of doing it.”