THE Bachelor star Matt James has lashed out at host Chris Harrison in wake of the controversy surrounding the host and Rachael Kirkconnell.
James, currently appearing in season 25 of the reality show, spoke out on the firestorm on February 22 in an Instagram post.
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What did Matt James say about Chris Harrison?
Chris Harrison had been heavily criticized for defending Rachael Kirkconnell's past behavior during an interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay.
The embattled host had asked fans to show "compassion" for Kirkconnell.
A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919)
Following the controversy surrounding his comments,Harrison announced he would be "stepping aside for a period of time" and will not join the After the Final Rose special.
Harrison and Kirkconnell have since apologized, and now James has issued a statement.
"The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life, and while there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison," James wrote.
"The reality is that I'm learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly.
"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 immediately, was troubling and painful to watch.
"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. "
James added: "This moment has sparked critical conversations and reporting, raised important questions, and resulted in inspiring displays of solidarity from The Bachelor nation.
"It has also pushed me to reevaluate and process what my experience on The Bachelor represents, not just for me, but for all of the contestants of color, especially the Black contestants of this season and seasons past, and for you, the viewers at home.
"I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from me in the end. My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better."
Rachael was criticized after photos surfaced of her attending an Old South-themed antebellum party.
She was also alleged to have "liked" racist social media posts in the past.
Rachael is one of four women still in contention on the current Bachelor season, along with Michelle Young, Serena Pitt, and Bri Springs.
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