Rachael Kirkconnell accused of being racist after old photos resurface


Chris Harrison and Rachael Kirkconnell Shutterstock; ABC

The longstanding host of a hit television series, Chris Harrison, was recently entangled in a controversial situation involving the past of one of the final contestants on season 25 of The Bachelor and is taking a leave of absence for an undisclosed amount of time. 

A contestant from this season, Rachael Kirkconnell, was pictured attending an antebellum party for a sorority on a plantation a few years ago in 2018. The picture was discovered by fans of the show after diving deeper into her past.

Harrison attempted to view the situation from a defensive standpoint in an interview with Rachel Lindsay from Extra TV. Harrison knew that Kirkconnell had already received much hate and criticism from people on the internet and he chose to give her the opportunity to explain herself and her actions before adding to it. 

“I think if it were me, and my name was attached to something that wasn’t true, I would be coming out and saying something,” Lindsay says while questioning the hesitation of Kirkconnell’s explanation. 

Harrison responded by saying, “you’re not gonna please everybody, and you can’t. And you can’t answer to everybody who wants to come and attack you.” 

Kirkconnell eventually spoke out in apology on an Instagram post saying, “I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them… I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”

Following the interview with Lindsay, Harrison was given criticism because his words were interpreted as defending or even trivializing the situation and her actions. He also spoke out in apology for his ignorance and lack of education on this social issue while announcing his choice to take a step back from The Bachelor for the rest of the season.

“What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that, I am so deeply sorry.”

Fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette series and senior at Hillcrest High School, Jordan Heumann, says, “It’s really unfortunate that the party was supporting old south which was highly racist, but at the same time, I feel that the world has been flipped on its head since 2018. We as a people are much more aware and sensitive to discrimination as a whole.”

Chris Harrison will be replaced as host for the last episode of the season, “After the Final Rose,” by former NFL player, Emmanuel Acho. Acho has gained experience over the last few years as a sports broadcaster and the host of a YouTube series called “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man.” He was also considered to be the bachelor but denied the opportunity twice.