The Bachelor’s Matt James calls out franchise for racism controversy

James took to Instagram to finally speak on the controversy surrounding his season

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The Bachelor’s Matt James has released an official statement calling out the franchise during its current racism controversy.

The current season of ABC’s The Bachelor has certainly been making headlines for some questionable past behavior from some of the contestants. While the show made progress this year with its first Black bachelor, it hasn’t been without controversy.

Matt James Bachelor thegrio.com
(Credit: ABC)

One of the women on the show, Rachael Kirkconnell, has been taken to task on social media since the show began airing for her past behavior. The contestant had reportedly liked pictures with the Confederate Flag in them and attended a “plantation-themed formal in 2018.”

Read More: White contestant dating first Black ‘Bachelor’ apologizes for racist past, host dragged for defending her

Since fans began calling out her past behavior, its been a bit of a snowball effect for the franchise.

The first Black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, had Chris Harrison (host and executive producer of The Bachelor series) on her show and asked him about what the network was going to do about Kirkconnell. In the controversial interview, Harrison doubled down and defended Kirkconnell, which led to Harrison to “step aside” from the franchise. Now, the lead of the current season James has finally spoken out amid the controversies.

Matt James Bachelor thegrio.com
Matt James (Credit: ABC)

In a post on Instagram on Monday, James called Kirkconnell’s photos, “incredibly disappointing,” and wrote, “Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch.” 

Read More: Matt James of the ‘Bachelor’ squashes rumors he doesn’t date Black women

He also hinted that while these are singular instances, there is a much larger issue at play in the popular franchise.

“As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years,” he wrote.

According to The Huffington Post, their sources have learned that Kirkconnell winds up with James at the end of the season, but “James and Kirkconnell are no longer together, and…their breakup was ultimately precipitated by recent revelations.”

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