Rachel Lindsay, the first Black lead on “The Bachelorette,” deleted her Instagram account after receiving “hate from ‘Bachelor’ fans,” according to her podcast co-host Van Lathan.
“My co-host on ‘Higher Learning,’ Rachel Lindsay, disabled her Instagram earlier today,” Lathan said in an Instagram video Friday. “She did it because that’s how much hate she is getting from Bachelor fans who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say.”
“Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can’t read the room in these present 2021 times,” Lathan said. “You’re going after the wrong person.”
Lindsay interviewed Harrison Feb. 9 on “Extra” about the backlash Rachael Kirkconnell was facing for liking Confederate flag-related TikToks and, more recently, for a resurfaced photo that appears to show her attending a plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
“We all need to have a little grace,” Harrison told Lindsay.
The “Bachelor” host apologized to Lindsay and the public for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.” Following his apology, Lindsay went on to announce she would not be renewing her contract with the franchise. The next day Harrison announced he would be “stepping aside” from his role as “Bachelor” host.
During this time Lindsay had been getting “rude” and “hateful” backlash from fans of the show according to her podcast co-host Lathan.
“Its not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn’t understand what the (expletive) triggers people in today’s world,” Lathan said.
In Friday’s video caption he added, “@chrisharrison are you okay with people getting at Rachel to the point she cant exist on IG?”
USA TODAY has reached out to Lindsay’s representatives.
Rachael Kirkconnell apologizes again
Kirkconnell spoke out further Thursday saying “sitting aside and hiding in the corner” doesn’t “help anyone” after offering her initial apology Feb.11 for her “offensive and racist” actions.
“I’ve come to realize that sitting aside and hiding in the corner and avoid being called performative, that doesn’t help anyone or anything,” she said Thursday in an Instagram post.
More:‘Bachelor’ frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell apologizes for ‘offensive and racist’ actions
The “Bachelor” contestant followed up saying that she would post resources she has used to educate herself. In the caption for Thursday’s video she writes, “Please go to my story for IG handles, links to explain my offenses, and my link in bio for more resources which i will continue to add to. please look into these platforms and sources, this is the first step for change.”
Kirkconnell responds to Rachel Lindsay’s criticism
Days after Kirkconnell posted her first apology, according to Screenrant and Vulture, the contestant posted a picture on her Instagram Story of her matcha tea with the book “Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man” by Emmanuel Acho visible in the background.
This post stirred up further criticism. Lindsay called Kirkconnell’s first apology “sincere” but the story post with the Acho book in the background “vapid.”
“Taking action to me isn’t showing everybody that you’re reading the book,” Lindsay said on the podcast “Bachelor Party” on Tuesday. “You have such a big platform. There’s a lot of people who don’t understand necessarily what Chris said in the interview or why people are so upset, and this is an opportunity for you to really explain that.”
“You almost feel like you know everything you need to know about her in that picture,” Lindsay continued about Kirkconnell. “The fact that that’s what she decided to do. Several people sent me this Story. It’s like, the apology was well-written. It was pretty. It was sincere.”
More:Rachel Lindsay ‘cant do it anymore,’ won’t renew ‘Bachelor’ contract
Though Lindsay noted she’s “not going to knock anyone’s apology,” the former Bachelorette added that “the next step is to take action.”
On Thursday, Kirkconnell addressed Lindsay’s criticism, saying even if people think she’s being performative when she “speaks on these subjects of injustice and racism,” it’s not what really matters.
“I want and need to use my privilege and my platform, that I so do not deserve, just to shine a light on these issues,” she said.
Matt James breaks his silence
On Monday, Matt James, the franchise’s first Black “Bachelor” and current star of Season 25, took to Instagram to address allegations surrounding Kirkconnell and Harrison, who announced he’s “stepping aside” from the show after his comments on “Extra.”
In his post, James called the ABC franchise’s latest racism controversy “devastating,” adding that it’s “a clear reflection of a much larger issue.”
“The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life,” James, 29, wrote in a statement. “While there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison.
He continued: “The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly.”
Matt Jamesis the first Black ‘Bachelor’ in ABC series history
Chris Harrison‘stepping aside’ from ‘The Bachelor’ for now after excusing ‘historical racism’
During Harrison’s exchange with Lindsay, the reality host repeatedly talked over the former Bachelorette and invoked the phrase “woke police.”
On Monday, James called the interview “painful to watch.”
“Chris’ 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,” James wrote. “As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years.”
Rachel Lindsay ‘cant do it anymore,’ won’t renew ‘Bachelor’ contract
James said the ordeal has sparked “critical conversations” and “resulted in inspiring displays of solidarity” among prominent former franchise stars and contestants, who hailed Harrison’s decision to step down “for a period of time.”
“It has also pushed me to reevaluate and process what my experience on ‘The Bachelor’ represents, not just for me but for all of the contestants of color, especially the Black contestants of this season and seasons past, and for you, the viewers at home,” James added.
James said viewers will “hear more from me” on the matter after he’s had more time to “process this experience.” He added, “My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better.”
‘The Bachelor’ recap: New episode marred by Chris Harrison, Rachael Kirkconnell’s racism controversy
Kirkconnell is among James’ final three, including Bri Springs and Michelle Young. Weeks after Kirkconnell’s past came to light, the Season 25 frontrunner apologized for her actions, which she condemned as “offensive and racist” in a statement on her Instagram Feb. 11.
“I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist,” Kirkconnell wrote. “I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me.
Contributing: Rasha Ali, Hannah Yasharoff, Charles Trepany