As Rachel Lindsay tirelessly advocates for anti-racism in Bachelor Nation, the first Black Bachelorette has also been on the receiving end of hate for her actions. Now, the head honchos are stepping in. The Bachelor executive producers condemned the online harassment of Lindsay in a Twitter statement on March 1, following her controversial interview with host Chris Harrison, in which he attempted to defend current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell for her racist actions before she apologized.
Lindsay disabled her Instagram account on Feb. 26 after receiving a barrage of hateful comments. In response, producers just released a joint statement on Bachelor Nation's Twitter account, making it "perfectly clear" that any harassment directed at Lindsay in defense of Harrison is "completely inexcusable" and calling for a stop. "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," the statement continued. "That is totally unacceptable."
The producers went on to praise Lindsay for the work she has done in advocating for diversity and calling out racism in the Bachelor franchise: "Rachel has been an incredible advocate for our cast, and we are grateful that she has worked tirelessly toward racial equity and inclusion."
In February, photos of Kirkconnell attending an antebellum-themed plantation party and wearing a Native American costume in 2018 went viral. Harrison attempted to defend her to Lindsay on Extra, arguing that 2018 was a "different time" and condemning "woke police" after she was "thrown to the lions." After causing huge backlash, Harrison apologized to Lindsay and temporarily "stepped aside" as Bachelor host, saying he would sit out this season's "After the Final Rose" special. In a later interview with fellow Extra correspondent Billy Bush, Lindsay said Harrison's exit was "the right decision" for now.
However, after Harrison's exit caused fans to harass Lindsay, many Bachelor Nation members have defended her, including Kirkconnell. "If you are choosing to rather spread hate, to send cruel, vicious messages, to be mad about people being hurt by racism ... do better," she wrote on Instagram. "Rachel Lindsay and other BIPOC have called for myself and others to be held accountable. This is needed, and she does not deserve the hate she is receiving."