In light of the growing controversy surrounding Chris Harrison and Bachelor Nation, the producers behind the franchise have released a statement. Their message showcased their support for former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, who has been targeted by online harassment after she brought up concerns surrounding Season 23 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's alleged pre-show racist actions during an Extra interview with Harrison. Lindsay has received so much hate from Bachelor fans that she deleted her Instagram account in late February.
On Monday night, around the same time that the Women Tell All special of The Bachelor began on ABC, the producers on the show released a statement in which they shared their support for Lindsay as she deals with this unfortunate situation. In their message, they shared that they "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." Their statement went on to note that Lindsay has been the subject of an "unimaginable amount of hate" that they said was "rooted in racism." They also stated that this situation is "unacceptable." The Bachelor producers ended their statement by noting that Lindsay has been an "incredibly advocate" for the franchise and that they are grateful for all of the work she has done in order to achieve "racial equity and inclusion."
This statement from the Bachelor producers comes shortly after Lindsay deleted her Instagram account after she received an inordinate amount of hate in light of her interview with Harrison, during which she brought up the allegations surrounding Kirkconnell. During the interview, the longtime Bachelor host defended Kirkconnell over her alleged pre-show racist actions, including the fact that she was photographed attending an "antebellum plantation themed" fraternity formal in 2018. Lindsay's Higher Learning co-host Van Lathan revealed that she deleted her Instagram after receiving hateful messages from Bachelor fans. He said, in part, "Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can't read the room in these present 2021 times. 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."
Harrison and Kirkconnell have both issued apologies since this racism scandal came to light. Additionally, Harrison also announced that he will be taking a step back from the franchise and that he will not be appearing on the upcoming After the Finale Rose special. He will be replaced with Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker and the author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. At the moment, it's unclear whether Harrison will have a future with Bachelor Nation going forward.