'Bachelor' Season 25 Contestants Denounce 'Defense of Racism'

The women of Matt James’ season of The Bachelor are making their voices heard. Almost every contestant from the season shared a united message on Thursday, denouncing comments made by Chris Harrison during a Tuesday interview with Rachel Lindsay. ET has reached out to Warner Bros. and ABC for comment. 

In that interview, Harrison defended current Bachelor contestant Rachel Kirkconnell from allegations of racism and encouraged people to offer her “grace.” After James’ Bachelor premiere, a user on TikTok accused Kirkconnell of bullying her in the past for dating Black men, and last week, another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Photos have also surfaced of Kirkconnell at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. 

Harrison later apologized on Instagram for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism” during the interview. 

Kirkconnell issued an apology on Thursday for her “offensive and racist” actions, and reposted the letter from her co-stars on her Instagram Story. 

“We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change,” the message begins.

“We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism,” it continues. “Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized.” 

“Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with ‘grace’ for individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise. Just because she is speaking the loudest, doesn’t mean she is alone. We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her,” the post concludes. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLLAuiwpzB_/

A post shared by Abigail Heringer (@abigail_heringer)

Kirkconnell, Abigail Heringer, Bri Springs, Chelsea Vaughn, Jessenia Cruz, Kit Keenan, Michelle Young, Pieper James, Serena Chew, Serena Pitt, Kaite Thurston, Brittany Galvin, Magi Tareke, Ryan Claytor, MJ Snyder, Lauren Maddox, Mari Pepin, Victoria Larson, Anna Redman, Kaili Anderson, Khaylah Epps, Sarah Trott, Alana Milne, Illeana Pennetto, Kristin Hopkins, Marylynn Sienna, Sydney Johnson, Alicia Holloway, Carolyn Vallejo, Casandra Suarez, Corrinne Jones, Emani Curl, Kimberly Courneya and Saneh St. Clare have all posted the message. 

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