The Rachael Kirkconnell controversy has hit a fever pitch, Bachelor Nation fans… and it’s finally gotten big enough where the 24-year-old suitor and the rest of the cast are all coming forward about it.
As we reported first on Thursday, the Bachelor star and possible leading lady to securing Matt James‘ heart has been embroiled in a scandal regarding old college pics showing her attending an “antebellum plantation-themed” fraternity formal.
Now, the Georgia native is speaking out – and apologizing for her place in those awful pictures. In a statement posted to her Instagram account yesterday evening, the reality TV contestant wrote in part (below):
“While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong. At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
She continued on from there, and added one particularly good portion in which she acknowledged how so many white people have come forward with statements like this in the last couple years after realizing their problematic behavior:
“As I was thinking about what I wanted to say, I couldn’t help but think about how sick people must be of reading these kinds of statements; how a person didn’t realize the trauma that their actions would inflict on other people. It must get so exhausting. I want to put my energy towards preventing people from making the same offensive mistakes that I made in the first place, and I hope I can prove this to you moving forward. Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions. I will never grow unless I recognize what I have done is wrong. I don’t think one apology means that I deserve your forgiveness, but rather I hope I can earn your forgiveness through my future actions.”
It doesn’t fix the behavior, of course, but at least it’s kind of nice to see that she realizes how white people have really been dropping the ball and need to do better?!
Here is her full statement (below):
Thorough. Well said. Will change truly follow?
Guess time will tell on that one…
The cast speaks out, too!
Rachael’s statement alone wasn’t enough in this situation.
Victoria Larson and the rest of the current and already-eliminated cast members on season 25 of The Bachelor also released a statement on Thursday night following Chris Harrison‘s unsolicited defense of Kirkconnell while speaking to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
In it, the women — speaking as a group — gave a nod to Rachel and added in part (below):
“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.”
The statement, in full, from Larson’s IG account:
“A cast of queens might I add” is an especially perfect way to top it off, too!
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?
But wait… There’s more!
BTW, another part of our reporting on Thursday centered on Rachel’s eyebrow-raising reaction to that damning interview with the show’s host that helped set this whole thing off. And wouldn’t you know it, 24 hours later, the former Bachelorette and current Extra correspondent has something to say in a smart and cryptic way!
Ch-ch-check out what Rachel posted on the sly on Thursday morning (below) and try to tell us she’s not making a statement about this WHOLE s**t show:
Yeah! She’s been doing a pretty good job of that so far, hasn’t she?!
Bachelor Nation alumni Kendall Long, Bekah Martinez, Bibiana Julian, and Kristina Schulman all showed love in the comment section, too. As they should!
What do U make of this entire controversy, Perezcious readers? Are you buying Kirkconnell’s apology?? Is Lindsay a star, or what?! And what will happen to Chris?
Sound OFF with ALL of your reactions to everything here, down in the comments (below)!
[Image via Rachael Kirkconnell/Rachel Lindsay/Instagram]