The Bachelor’s Rachael Kirkconnell is speaking out again after recently attempting to apologize for her past racist and offensive behavior, but this time, she’s talking to her critics!
The 24-year-old frontrunner took to Instagram Stories on Thursday to clarify a point in her previous statement, while also clapping back at those coming for her! Sharing the same message in the now-edited caption of her apology post, she wrote:
“My statement and apology is for the people of color that i have offended, if you do not identify as BIPOC then it is not your apology to accept or not. please be respectful to those who have been affected.���
The young star should absolutely be apologizing directly to Bachelor lead Matt James, her fellow season 25 contestants, and the Black community for her 2018 “antebellum plantation-themed” fraternity formal attendance and photos. But she absolutely should NOT put it on BIPOC people to educate her on what was wrong about her actions, or why her apology might not come off as genuine.
That’s white privilege right there (and that goes to her supporters, too)!
Along with her statement though, Rachael also reposted a message that has been circulating on social media by her current and former cast members of the reality dating series. As we reported earlier, it read:
“We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. 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. Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with ‘grace’ for individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise. 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.”
Additionally, many of the men on Clare Crawley‘s season of The Bachelorette have also shared their own statement on Friday, denouncing “racist behavior and any defense thereof.” Following Chris Harrison‘s controversial defense of Kirkconnell, they made clear they were standing by 35-year-old Rachel Lindsay:
“As members of season 16 of The Bachelorette, it is important that we acknowledge where stand at this time. We had the opportunity to be a part of one of the most diverse casts in the history of the franchise. The addition of more people who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) has opened up the conversation on race, community, and who we are as people. A conversation that has been long overdue.”
The declaration continued, stating:
“We stand united in denouncing racist behavior and any defense thereof. We also stand united with the women of Season 25 of The Bachelor, who have denounced the same. Moreover, we stand united with Rachel Lindsay, who has led the way.”
Love to see more of the people involved in the franchise finally stepping up! And would love to see some more people do so, too.
As you may know, all of the former contestants are reacting to a recent interview where Harrison tried to defend the contestant’s allegations of racism and asked people to offer her “grace” while speaking with Lindsay on Extra. (Did we mention that it’s not his place to tell people to do anything??)
It wasn’t just horrible plantation photos, though. After the premiere of Matt’s season, a user on TikTok came out with accusations that Kirkconnell had bullied her in the past for dating Black men. Then, last week, another social media user claimed the reality TV personality liked a bunch of racist images, as well as posed in controversial costumes. Of course, the final nail in the coffin was the photos of Kirkconnell at the college party.
These allegations have been around for a while and the fact that it took Bachelor Nation this long to react shows that there are serious diversity and racism issues within the ABC series.
The TV host later released an apology on Instagram for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.” (And has since remained very quiet.) On Friday, 29-year-old Matt, who formed a strong connection with Rachael this season, spoke out to Entertainment Tonight about the sticky situation, saying:
“I have not spoken to anybody since the show ended, but I would say that you have to be really careful about what you are doing on social media. Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people’s lives. So I would give people the benefit of the doubt, and hopefully, she will have her time to speak on that.”
Or just don’t be a super problematic person and think about what you’re doing before you do them that might help as well… but we digress.
What do U guys think about Rachael’s latest update? What are your thoughts about the old cast members sharing their statements? And how do U think the rest of Bach Nation will respond? Sound OFF about your thoughts in the comments (below)!