The Bachelor star Rachael Kirkconnell has spoken out about The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay deleting all of her social media accounts amid abuse from fans of the franchise. Lindsay inadvertently became mixed-up in a scandal of racism accusations, stemming from a controversial interview she did with Bachelor host Chris Harrison. According to E! News, a significant portion of the conversation focused on resurfaced photos of Kirkconnell previously attending an antebellum-themed party, which Harrison seemed to defend, resulting in backlash and the host taking a hiatus from the franchise.
Now, Kirkconnell is coming to Lindsay's defense, writing on Instagram, "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 continued, "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."
View this post on Instagram
"Recognize that she along with every person you send hateful messages to, are human," Kirkconnell continued. "We are real people, and she should not have to disable her account to escape this toxicity. This is not okay. She is doing the hard work that needs to be done for change, and does not deserve to be silenced or ridiculed. If you are someone that has been cruel, find what fuels this hate in your heart, and fix it."
Kirkconnell previously apologized over the 2018 pictures, writing, "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."
Following backlash against Harrison for implying that Kirkconnell's attendance at the antebellum-themed party was only controversial in light of the current cultural climate, he announced that he was taking a break from the Bachelor franchise. This sparked the majority of the cruel comments toward Lindsay, as fans apparently blamed her over Harrison's comments. Kirkconnell, however, has stated that she believes it is important for everyone to take responsibility for their own actions.
"There's also people that's messaging me saying, 'You've done nothing wrong, don't listen to people,'" Kirkconnel shared in an Instagram video. "I think that the first big step in all of this is white people stepping up and taking accountability. Things will never change if we don't all work together in working towards this racial progress and this unity that we want."