What’s Going On With The Bachelor Right Now?

Fans of The Bachelor, and even those who have only heard the name, know this show is never short of a new scandal. After years of backlash from their lack of diversity and after more recent justified anger from fans amidst Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, the Bachelor responded with the first ever black Bachelor, Matt James, and the most diverse cast in the show’s history. Apparently, there were no background checks for this cast. Bachelor contestant for this season and fan favorite from night one, Rachel Kirkconnell, has sparked the latest revelation that The Bachelor may not be worthy of the attention it receives. Rachel’s seemingly sweet demeanor won over Bachelor fans and Matt James from the beginning. For weeks, she hung back quietly out of the drama, sneaking romantic moments every so often with Matt, guaranteeing her a place in his, and the audience’s, heart. Two weeks ago pictures of Rachel’s past resurfaced on social media, catching the attention of Bachelor fans everywhere. Some of the most upsetting photos to be exposed were of her at a college “Old South” or antebellum era themed party and her dressed in a culturally appropriative Native American costume. To see a woman who had gained so much admiration from Bachelor fans appropriating Native American culture and glorifying the slave-owning South was nothing short of disappointing. Bachelor fans were quick to vocalize their frustration and dismay with the images. 

Chris Harrison, executive producer and host of The Bachelor, responded to the situation during an interview with the first black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. He claimed that while the photos may “not be a good look in 2021,” they were much more excusable in 2018. He failed to hold Rachel accountable for her past actions and acknowledge the harm these images have done. Harrison has since received enormous, deserved, backlash for his lack of sensitivity and clear ignorance to the situation. The rest of The Bachelor contestants from this season have addressed fans through a unified message on their Instagram stories, where they state that they stand with Rachel Lindsay and are advocating for a change. Rachel has also addressed fans with an apology through her Instagram story, where she admits to her actions and claims that she will educate herself and work to do better. So far, she has seemingly stayed true to these statements by constantly sharing various anti-racist resources to educate her followers on Instagram. Chris Harrison has also submitted an apology to his Instagram where he says he will be “taking time off” from The Bachelor after this season. 

Right now there are two weeks left until the final rose ceremony. Rachel still remains in the final three and fans are waiting to see if she will be the winner of this season, undeservingly coming out on top. While this season of The Bachelor was initially intended to be a step in the right direction towards a more diverse, understanding, and aware show, it turned to be eye opening to the issues behind the scenes. While the apologies and actions from Rachel and Chris are a good first step to addressing the problems that have surfaced over the past few weeks, they should only be the beginning of a series of changes.