The Bachelor host Chris Harrison is apologizing for his support of the reality shows contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who has faced accusations that she is racist.
In a lengthy interview with Extra, Harrison railed against the cancel culture coming to destroy Rachael Kirkconnell’s life after old photos revealed she once participated in a common antebellum college fraternity event when she was a student.
Antebellum formals include the female participants dressing up in Southern Belle-styled ball gowns. Such events have been conducted across the south for decades, and millions of young women have participated in similar events. But leftists have labeled these dances “racist” merely because they emulate the voluminous gown fashion evoking traditional, pre-Civil War plantation gowns.
The photos of Kirkconnell, a recent The Bachelor contestant, spread across social media, spurring some to demand that she be removed from the show. For his part, Harrison was disgusted by those looking to destroy the young woman’s life. “I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that’s it. Like, boom,” Harrison told Extra. “I’m like, ‘Really?'”
“I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018,” he added. “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.”
Harrison went on to point out how shocking it is that so many people are pouring over the woman’s life, looking for ways to destroy her.
“People are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her and her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” Harrison exclaimed. “I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. And until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
But now, Harrison is backtracking after critics turned against him in the wake of his Extra interview.
“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology,” Harrison said Wednesday in a social media post. “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,” Harrison’s post 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.
— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) February 11, 2021
The Bachelor has been accused of racism for years, and it took until just last year for the 21-year-old series to name its first black man as the show’s lead bachelor.
Also, as far back as 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed accusing the series of racial discrimination for being too white with its bachelors and female contestants.
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