“ The Bachelor ” controversy: Matt James statement on Chris Harrison

After weeks of controversy over its historic season, The single person Star Matt James makes his voice heard.

James posted a statement on Instagram Monday, reacting to controversy over the recently emerged photos of current candidate Rachael Kirkconnell at an Antebellum-themed party, which romances the south before the Civil War and the Age of Slavery. (Kirkconnell apologized and admitted his actions were “offensive and racist.”) James, who is the first Black Bachelor in franchise history, called the photos “incredibly disappointing” and said that the controversy that followed “was devastating and heartbreaking. say it bluntly, ”adding that“ the last few weeks have been some of the most difficult of my life. “

But James was even more blunt when he turned to Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who attempted to defend Kirkconnell in an interview with Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay and blamed “cancel culture” for the controversy. (Harrison has since apologized for “perpetuating racism” with his comments and temporarily stepped away from the ABC reality TV franchise.) Of the Antebellum South, a painful story every American should understand intimately, was unsettling and painful to watch, “said James, adding that” it was a clear reflection of a problem much larger than the Bachelor the franchise has failed to adapt adequately for years.

The controversy has “sparked critical conversations and reporting, raised important questions and prompted inspiring displays of solidarity from Bachelor Nation, noted James, and” it also prompted me to re-evaluate and address what my experience on The single person represents, not only for me, but for all competitors of color. He ended with the hope “that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better”.

James’ Bachelor The season airs Mondays at 8 / 7c on ABC, with the season finale scheduled for March 15. As of now, Kirkconnell is still one of the four remaining contenders vying for James’ Heart.

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