Matt James speaks out about "The Bachelor" controversy

“The Bachelor” superstar Matt James spoke out on Monday concerning the controversy surrounding his season of the long-running relationship display. James, the primary Black bachelor at the franchise in just about 20 years, mentioned in a commentary it’s been “devastating and heartbreaking” to be told about “extremely disappointing” pictures of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and next feedback made by means of host Chris Harrison.

In his commentary, posted on Instagram, James mentioned the previous few weeks had been probably the most maximum difficult of his existence, and that he, just like the target market, is studying concerning the eventualities involving Kirkconnell and Harrison in actual time. Whilst there are nonetheless a number of episodes within the season left to air, he mentioned “it can be crucial that I make an effort to deal with the troubling knowledge that has come to gentle since we wrapped filming.”

Harrison, who has hosted the display since 2002, introduced previous this month he’s stepping clear of the display for a “time period.” His announcement got here after a arguable interview on “Additional” with the primary Black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, during which he defended present contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who has been accused of racist acts.

Harrison gained backlash from lovers after announcing, partly, “all of us wish to have slightly grace” for Kirkconnell, who got here beneath hearth after pictures of her at an antebellum-themed birthday party in 2018 resurfaced this month. Each Kirkconnell and Harrison have apologized. 

Lindsay, who carried out the interview with Harrison, introduced ultimate week that she is not going to renew her contract with the display on account of Harrison’s feedback.

In his commentary, James mentioned: “Chris’ failure to obtain and perceive the emotional hard work that my pal Rachel Lindsay was once taking over by means of graciously and patiently explaining the racist historical past of the Antebellum South, a painful historical past that each American will have to perceive in detail, was once troubling and painful to look at.” 

James mentioned it mirrored a “a lot better factor that The Bachelor franchise has fallen brief on addressing adequately for years.”

CBS Information has reached out to Harrison, Kirkconnell and ABC, which airs “The Bachelor,” for remark and is anticipating reaction.

Because the display started, there were 3 Black leads: Lindsay, James, and Tayshia Adams, all of whom starred at the display inside the ultimate 4 years. 

Lindsay has been vocal concerning the display’s loss of range, and ultimate yr wrote a weblog publish about her persevered involvement with the franchise. She mentioned if adjustments weren’t made “at the outside and inside of the franchise,” she would disassociate from it. She indexed a number of steered adjustments, together with casting leads “which can be actually all in favour of relationship outdoor in their race,” diversifying manufacturers, and now not “growing problematic tale traces for other people of colour.”

Following her weblog publish, in addition to an internet petition created by means of lovers, the display solid James as its first Black male lead.

In his commentary on Monday, James mirrored on his position as the primary Black bachelor. “This second has sparked crucial dialog and reporting, raised vital questions, and ended in inspiring shows of cohesion from The Bachelor country,” James mentioned. “It has additionally driven me to reevaluate and procedure what my revel in on The Bachelor represents, now not only for me, however for all the contestants of colour, particularly the Black contestants of this season and seasons previous, and for you, the audience at house.”

James mentioned he’ll proceed to procedure the revel in and that lovers will listen extra from him after all. “My largest prayer is that that is an inflection level that ends up in actual institutional alternate for the easier,” he mentioned.  

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