Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay has returned to Instagram after she deactivated her account last month. Following her interview with Chris Harrison where he minimized the racism accusations made against contestant Rachel Kirkconnell, Lindsay was harassed by fans of the Bachelor franchise so badly that she deleted her account. "Rachel Lindsay disabled her Instagram earlier today," her Higher Learning co-host Van Lathan revealed in an Instagram video on Feb. 27. "She did it because that's how much hate she's getting from Bachelor fans who are spamming her with all kinds of rude and hateful things... Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison."
"A 49-year-old man who can't read the room in these present 2021 times," Lathan continued. "She's not responsible for that. It's not her job to make excuses or provide cover for someone who doesn't understand what the f--- triggers people in today's world." He ended his video saying "The Bachelor and it's not worth harassing somebody over."
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However, Lindsay's absence from Instagram was brief. She posted a picture of a sunflower on her account on Saturday with the inspirational quote "I want to be like a sunflower so that even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight."
Following the onslaught of abuse Lindsay faced online, Bachelor producers released a statement of support. "We would like to make it perfectly clear that any harassment directed towards Rachel Lindsay in the aftermath of her interview with Chris Harrison is completely inexcusable," they wrote. "Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has been subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism. That is totally unacceptable. Rachel has been an incredible advocate for our cast, and we are grateful that she has worked tirelessly towards racial equity and inclusion."
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Harrison also addressed the backlash she faced in his Good Morning America interview. "I am incredibly sorry," Harrison told host Michael Strahan. "To anyone who is throwing hate towards Rachel Lindsay, please stop. It is unacceptable." The source of so much of the controversy, Kirkconnell, also posted on her Instagram account to defend Lindsay from the haters. "You have the opportunity to make a positive difference, to use your energy towards change, and to come together and realize what's right in a time like this," she wrote. "If you are choosing to rather spread hate, to send cruel, vicious messages, to be mad about people being hurt by racism...do better. Be better. Rachel Lindsay and other BIPOC have called for myself and others to be held accountable. This is needed, and she does not deserve the hate she is receiving.