‘The Bachelor’ Star Matt James Finally Addresses Chris Harrison’s ‘Troubling & Painful’ Interview

Matt James The Bachelor Season 25 Episode 8
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Bachelor star Matt James, the show’s first Black male lead, has finally addressed the recent controversy over executive producer and host Chris Harrison‘s remarks excusing historical racism — and makes it clear this won’t be the only time you hear from him.

Harrison had made his remarks during an interview on Extra with former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestant Rachel Lindsay, when he defended current contestant Rachel Kirkconnell — who’s one of three women still still standing after the February 22 episode’s hometown dates — for attending an antebellum-themed wedding and “liking” racists social media postings.

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Chris Harrison to Step Away From 'Bachelor' Franchise for 'Excusing Historical Racism'

Chris Harrison to Step Away From 'Bachelor' Franchise for 'Excusing Historical Racism'

Harrison has since apologized for his comments and announced he was “stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”

James, who has wrapped filming on The Bachelor Season 25, shared a lengthy message on Instagram on February 22, after the show, addressing both Kirkconnell’s actions and Harrison’s comments defending her.

“The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly,” he wrote. “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.”

 

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James also went on to note that what has happened “has also pushed me to reevaluate 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.”

The Bachelor, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC