Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay slammed what she calls the “Bachelor Klan” as a “hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic” group inside ABC’s Bachelor Nation.
In an interview with Vulture, Lindsay said the Bachelor franchise “has spent 19 years cultivating a toxic audience,” claiming “they have constantly given [the fandom] a product it wants: a midwestern/southern white, blonde, light-eyed Christian.”
“Not all viewers are like that,” added Lindsay, who claimed “there is a Bachelor Nation, and there is a Bachelor Klan.” Lindsay was a contestant on the 21st season of The Bachelor. She was The Bachelorette in its 13th season.
“Bachelor Klan is hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic,” the former Bachelorette said. “They are afraid of change. They are afraid to be uncomfortable. They are afraid when they get called out.”
Lindsay said she had received a courtesy call from an executive producer of The Bachelor to inform her — before it was officially announced — that Matt James would be cast as the first black Bachelor.
“I laughed. ‘Mighty timely if you,’ I said,” recalled Lindsay of her reaction. “We were living in a world where corporations posted black squares, vowed to donate money, and aligned themselves with Black Lives Matter.”
Lindsay said she told the executive producer, “What you really need to do is apologize. For 18 years, you’ve been part of the problem.”
“And they did,” she said. “They put out a statement acknowledging their role and vowing to do better. I was stunned. For the first time, I thought, Wow, maybe change is coming.”
But the former Bachelorette went on to say that she was left dismayed as she watched “the cycle repeat itself” throughout James’ season.
“The focus was on his white mother and his popular white friends in the franchise,” Lindsay said. “This man runs a nonprofit. He’s close with his family. But they gave us his whiteness.”
“The end of the season centered on the absentee-black-father narrative, yet again playing into a stereotype,” she added. “And then came Rachael Kirkconnell.”
Kirkconnell — the Bachelor contestant James ended up choosing as the winner during the show’s season finale — fell under fire earlier this year after photos resurfaced and reveal how in 2018 she participated in an antebellum college fraternity party when she was a student.
Lindsay said she talked to The Bachelor host Chris Harrison after the antebellum college photos were brought to light, suggesting that she was appalled by his stance.
“He told me that 50 million people had attended a party like this,” Lindsay said of her conversation with Harrison. “I maintained that attending such a party was not a good look, to which he responded, ‘Is it not a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021?’ As if things couldn’t have been considered racist in 2018.”
“He called for sympathy for ‘this poor girl, Rachael.’ He said all this with a passion I had never seen him assert,” she added. “This was like catching him with a hot mic.”
In a Cancel Culture victory, Harrison ended up permanently leaving the reality TV series franchise amid backlash over how he handled the Kirkconnell controversy, which involved him defending the contestant and calling out the “woke police” on social media.
Harrison’s exit package from The Bachelor included a sum of roughly $10 million, according to a report by Variety.
Lindsay said after speaking with Harrison, she thought if “the person who has been representative of [The Bachelor] for nearly two decades thinks this way,” then “what does it say about the rest of it?”
“He was not only the face of The Bachelor. He was an executive producer and the head of the team that leads the show,” Lindsay lamented. “How does that trickle down into how the series is made? The fish rots at the head, and it was stank after that display.”
Lindsay said if she could do The Bachelorette over again, she would likely prioritize “diversity” by keeping black contestants on the show for a longer period of time, despite knowing she wouldn’t choose them as the winner.