Rachel Lindsay says she was ‘disturbed’ by Matt James’ sit-down with dad
The former Bachelorette star shared her thoughts on the intimate conversation that was broadcast on national television.
After watching The Bachelor‘s Matt James and his father have an intimate conversation on national television, former bachelorette Rachel Lindsay shared how the conversation made her feel.
“I felt it in my soul and I had to speak out, because I am so disturbed at what I just watched take place on The Bachelor stage — the conversation between Matt and his father,” she said to host Juliet Litman as a guest of the Bachelor Party podcast according to PEOPLE.
She continued, “What’s the one thing we know about [Matt’s] dad? That he wasn’t around. That’s all we know which, if you know anything about stereotypes that are assigned to particular races — here, the Black race — you know that absentee fathers is a stereotype.”
Although she did not agree with the meeting between father and son happening on an episode of reality television, the 35-year-old continued to describe how it was necessary.
“We know that Matt has not been able to open up and to fully express himself in these relationships because he still has to get over the hurdle of confronting his father about the fact that he was not around when [Matt] was growing up,” she said. “And Matt can’t get to the next level until he has this conversation. That’s how this has been presented to us.”
After the two men spoke, they shared a hug and and expressed mutual love and support for each other according to the outlet. James spoke out about the impact of the event on social media.
“Tonight’s convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it’s just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me,” James tweeted about the emotional moment.
His sentiment of “knowing the world is watching with me,” is one reason why Lindsay disagreed with the programming. According to PEOPLE, she shared on the podcast how documenting this serious moment was another example of the franchises mistreatment of Black people.
“If the Bachelor franchise has shown us anything, it is that they don’t know to protect people of color, they only know how to exploit them,” she said according to the report.
“They only know how to mishandle situations when they come to race. That is what they’ve shown us time and time again. This should have never been aired for America to see — and for people who will say that we’re exaggerating or making a bigger deal of this, this is one of those times where you should just sit and listen to what people who have been stereotyped in this way have to say.”
She continued, “Maybe Matt did need this, but this was a conversation that should have been just for Matt, not for the rest of the world to see.”
Both James and Lindsay have recently spoken out about different aspects of race as they relate to the popular romantic series. James, who was cast as the first Black man to be the bachelor faced controversy when one of his final contestants was exposed for alleged racist behavior. The woman, Rachael Kirkconnell was then defended by host, and executive producer Chris Harrison.
theGrio reported he used social media to speak out about the allegations.
“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,” James wrote. “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.”
Lindsay was the first Black bachelorette and recently had to delete her social media due to racist comments as she vocally opposed the actions of Harrison. According to theGrio, The Bachelor producers released a statement in her defense.
“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,” the producers stated.
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