‘Bachelor’ producers defend Rachel Lindsay: Harassment ‘rooted in racism’

Lindsay, the franchise's first-ever Black 'Bachelorette,' left Instagram for good last week after getting bullied online by show fans.

After Rachel Lindsay deleted her Instagram account due to harassment from fans of The Bachelor, the popular ABC reality show’s producers are now defending her, saying her badgering is “rooted in racism.”

Lindsay, the franchise’s first-ever Black “Bachelorette,” left Instagram for good last weekend after getting harassed online by Bachelor fans who blame her for the several controversies circling the franchise stemming from current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and racist images resurfacing from her past. The Bachelor host Chris Harrison is stepping back from his duties after a controversial interview with Lindsay last month in which he defended Kirkconnell.

After Rachel Lindsay recently deleted her Instagram account due to harassment from “The Bachelor” fans, the show’s producers now say her badgering is “rooted in racism.” (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for WEtv)

Read More: Rachel Lindsay deletes Instagram following racist ‘hate’ from ‘Bachelor’ fans

Now, The Bachelor producers are defending Lindsay.

A statement posted to the official “Bachelor Nation” Twitter account reads: “As Executive Producers of The Bachelor Franchise 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. 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.

They expressed gratitude for Lindsay’s work “tirelessly towards racial equity and inclusion.”

As theGrio previously reported, Lindsay’s Higher Learning podcast co-host Van Lathan opened up on Instagram about the hate his colleague had been receiving.

“My co-host on Higher Learning, Rachel Lindsay, disabled her Instagram earlier today,” Lathan revealed in the Instagram video. “She did it because that’s how much hate she’s getting from Bachelor fans, who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say.”

He asserted that Lindsay is “not responsible” for Harrison, saying, “It’s not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn’t understand what the f— triggers people in today’s world.”

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

Matt James, the current subject of attention on The Bachelor, also spoke out in defense of Lindsay in an official statement. “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,” he said.

Kirkconnell, the center of all of this, has also opened up about Lindsay and her treatment.

“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,” Kirkconnell wrote. Directly addressing Bachelor fans, she continued: “Recognize that she along with every person you send hateful messages to, are human. 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.”

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