Bachelor Executive Producers Condemn “Completely Inexcusable” Online Harassment of Rachel Lindsay

The executive producers of The Bachelor have broken their silence and issued a statement supporting Rachel Lindsay against online "bullying" after her Chris Harrison interview.

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 02, 2021 12:25 AMTags
Watch: Would Rachel Lindsay Consider Being Next "Bachelor" Host?

The executive producers of The Bachelor are backing Rachel Lindsay.

The producers issued a joint statement on Twitter on Monday, March 1, to defend The Bachelorette star from online bullying that "has been rooted in racism," following the recent Bachelor Nation controversy involving Rachael Kirkconnell and Chris Harrison

The statement read, "As Executive Producers of The Bachelor Franchise we would like to make it perfectly clear that any harassment directed towards Rachel Lindsay in the aftermath of her interview with Chris Harrison is completely inexcusable."

It continued, "Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has been subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism. That is totally unacceptable."

The unnamed executive producers added, "Rachel has been an incredible advocate for our cast, and we are grateful that she has worked tirelessly toward racial equity and inclusion." 

On Friday, Feb. 26, Lindsay deleted her Instagram account after receiving hateful messages from viewers.

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Bachelor Nation Reacts to Chris Harrison Controversy

Lindsay's podcast co-host, Van Lathan, expressed his outrage over how she was being treated online. "This harassment is going too far," he said on Friday, Feb. 26. "It's not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn't understand what the f--k triggers people in today's world."

About three weeks ago, she interviewed Harrison about Kirkconnell's controversial "Old South" party photos from 2018. At the time, Harrison seemed to justify Kirkconnell's actions, saying, "We all need to have a little grace" and suggested standards have changed from 2018 to 2021.

ABC/Craig Sjodin, Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock, ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Bachelor host said, "I don't know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I'm not defending it; I didn't go to it."

On air, Lindsay, 35, noted that Kirkconnell's photos were "not a good look." 

After the Extra segment, he apologized for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism."

Harrison, 49, then temporarily stepped down as host, and on Feb. 27, Emmanuel Acho was named as his replacement for the upcoming The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special on March 15.

Kirkconnell, who is vying for Matt James' heart on the current season, spoke out in the past week after Lindsay experienced online harassment over the scandal. 

On Feb. 27, the 24-year-old contestant wrote on Instagram, "If you are choosing to rather spread hate, to send cruel, vicious messages, to be mad about people being hurt by racism...do better. Be better. Rachel Lindsay and other BIPOC have called for myself and others to be held accountable. This is needed, and she does not deserve the hate she is receiving."

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Several other Bachelor Nation stars stood by Lindsay, who was the lead of the 13th season and the franchise's first Black Bachelorette when it aired in 2017.

Becca Kufrin, Nick Viall, Katie Thurston and more issued messages supporting Lindsay in recent days. Kufrin wrote, "To Rachel Lindsay: I love you, I stand by you and I support you in whatever way, shape or form that's needed. We live in a world where online toxicity, racism, racial insensitivity & ignorance, bullying and cruelty have become a norm. This is simply not okay." 

Following her explosive interview with Harrison, Lindsay spoke with E! News to weigh in on who should follow in his footsteps. The attorney also shared her thoughts on Kirkconnell's apology over her old photos, saying, "I think it's a little bit after the fact, but she apologized. It was a great written statement and it's just holding her accountable to the things she said she is going to commit to and that's all we can do at this point."

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