Matt James' Bachelor Contestants Say They "Denounce Any Defense of Racism" in Joint Message

In light of The Bachelor host Chris Harrison defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, the women of Matt James' season issued a statement criticizing "any defense of racism."

By Ryan Gajewski Feb 12, 2021 3:14 AMTags
Watch: Matt James Discusses Being the First Black "Bachelor"

The women from Matt James' current season of The Bachelor are speaking out after Chris Harrison defended Rachael Kirkconnell's controversial past choices.

Following the franchise's host refusing to denounce Rachael for having attended an "Old South" party in 2018, Matt's contestants shared a joint statement on social media to say they are "deeply disappointed" by the recent events.

"We are the women of Bachelor Season 25," the statement read. "Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized."

The statement also shared for support for Rachel Lindsay, the show's first Black Bachelorette. She took part in the interview with Chris for Extra on Feb. 9 in which the franchise host defended Rachael, who is currently competing for Matt's final rose.

Bachelor Nation Reacts to Chris Harrison Controversy

"Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with 'grace' for individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise," the statement continued. "Just because she is speaking the loudest, doesn't mean she is alone. We stand with her, we hear her and we advocate for change alongside her."

ABC/Craig Sjodin

During the Extra interview, Chris told Rachel he had yet to speak with the contestant about the controversy but that "we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion." He went on to say about the party that "50 million people did that in 2018," and he also criticized "the woke police."

For his part, Chris said in a statement on Feb. 10 that he spoke "in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry."

On Feb. 10, in response to a fan on Twitter who said that Rachel is "so generous and giving to this franchise," the former Bachelorette replied, "My days are numbered."