Chris Harrison Apologizes for Defending Rachael Kirkconnell in a Way That "Perpetuates Racism"

After Chris Harrison was criticized for defending Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, he took to social media on Feb. 10 to apologize to fans and Rachel Lindsay.

By Ryan Gajewski Feb 11, 2021 2:49 AMTags
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The Bachelor's Chris Harrison is apologizing for his comments about contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's social media controversy.

After receiving backlash over remarks he made to Rachel Lindsay during an Extra interview on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the host took to Instagram on Feb. 10 to acknowledge that what he said "perpetuates racism." Rachael is currently competing for the affection of Matt James, the first-ever Black Bachelor. 

"To my Bachelor Nation family—I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology," he wrote. "I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf."

He continued, "What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better."

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The day before, Chris and Rachel, the first Black Bachelorette, discussed the photos that had surfaced on Reddit showing Rachael attending a 2018 fraternity party. The Redditor described the event as an "antebellum plantation themed ball." 

Chris explained that he had yet to speak with the contestant about the controversy but said "we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion."

Getty Images/ABC

"I don't think it is incumbent upon The Bachelor franchise to speak out on everything that everyone wants to hear about on social media," he said. "We're not in the business of dealing with every problem that you have. That's not how this works."

The interview spurred significant criticism on Twitter. One user wrote, "Also, @TheRachLindsay is so generous and giving to this franchise. We do not deserve her."

Rachel replied, "My days are numbered." 

E! News reached out to Chris Harrison's team and ABC for comment and did not hear back. 

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