Matt James has issued a robust assertion calling for institutional change at The Bachelor, unusual for present leads
The present season of The Bachelor has been completely mired in controversy, after a season frontrunner was revealed to have posted problematic and racist content material on her social media, the longtime host of the present, Chris Harrison, stepped down after defending her, and probably the most racially numerous solid within the franchise’s historical past banded collectively in solidarity calling for actual change, all the way in which as much as the present’s highest ranks.
Now, Matt James, the primary ever Black bachelor, has issued a press release on… all of it, and in his personal highly effective phrases, he criticized the present for persistently falling quick and referred to as for change to lastly occur.
“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, especially the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison,” he wrote. The images he’s referencing confirmed Rachael Kirkconnell, rumored to be the winner of his season, attending an Antebellum South themed fraternity social gathering simply two years in the past.
— Rosé (@TeaAndRoses21) February 4, 2021
“The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly,” James continued. “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. 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 mentioned that watching the occasions of the previous couple of weeks pushed him to reevaluate his whole expertise as The Bachelor. He additionally strongly referred to as for change, which is very uncommon for a present result in do.
“I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from me in the end,” he wrote. “My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better.”
Lots of issues at The Bachelor are nonetheless very up within the air. With two episodes left within the season, there are nonetheless requires Chris Harrison to be completely eliminated, although ABC hasn’t spoken in any respect about any of the controversy or Chris’s future. There are rumors that the favored “After the Final Rose” episode has been canceled, and even the destiny of the subsequent season of The Bachelorette appears unclear — a block of reservations at a Canada resort that was rumored to be for the present was abruptly canceled final week. Only one factor is for certain: Viewers usually are not keen to place up with extra lip service from the present, and this can be a actual second of reckoning that can decide its future.