Matt James just delivered one of the most poignant public statements we’ve read yet concerning the ongoing controversy surrounding his season of The Bachelor.
As you’ll recall, the former college football star’s turn on the hit reality TV show has been marred by a series of racist controversies, including contestant Rachael Kirkconnell‘s troubling old fraternity formal pics and host Chris Harrison‘s contentious interview with Rachel Lindsay about it and later leave of absence.
Now, after more than a week of silence on the matter, Matt came forward with a public statement posted to his Instagram account on Monday night, and we’ve gotta say — it hits exactly the right tone.
Writing to the public and addressing his fans and the show’s viewers, the North Carolina native wrote in part (below):
“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. The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking, to put it bluntly.”
On a roll, he continued from there:
“Chris’ 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.”
Very true! And very good of Matt to call it out!
He summed things up by concluding with the most important message of all (below):
“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 re-evaluate 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.”
Wow. You can read/see the full thing here:
A post shared by Matt James (@mattjames919)
Seriously well said.
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Where do U stand on where The Bachelor franchise is right now? Certainly a crossroads for it, and for Harrison… can the show’s producers and execs lead it in the right direction again?
Sound OFF with your take on Matt’s take, plus all about the future of Bachelor Nation, down in the comments (below)…
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