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Emmanuel Acho shows support for Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell

Emmanuel Acho sits on the couch wearing a suit jacket and turtleneck
Emmanuel Acho steps in as host for the finale of Matt’s controversial season. Pic credit: ABC

Emmanuel Acho, famous for his Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man series, appears to be quite comfortable expressing his fondness for controversial couple, Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell. 

Photos that surfaced of Rachael Kirkconnell at a party on a plantation peeled back the curtain on the urgent need for progress within The Bachelor franchise and led to a load of changes to the series, including introducing Emmanual Acho as the host of After the Final Rose. 

Emmanuel now thinks Matt and Rachael’s relationship is ‘cute’ 

Rachael Kirkconnell recently posted a series of snapshots from her relationship with Matt and received lots of love from friends and followers on the post. 

Emmanuel also reacted to the post with the comment, “Y’all so cute!!” 

Emmanuel’s comment stood out in particular because of his appearance as the temporary host of The Bachelor finale, After The Final Rose, during Matt’s season. 

With Chris Harrison under fire for disparaging comments about race and tolerance, the series chose to have Emmanuel Acho replace Chris as host, hoping his knack for navigating uncomfortable conversation, as well as his personal perspective as a Black man, would help Matt address all the controversy surrounding his season. 

In the finale episode, Emmanuel promised discomfort as he encouraged Matt to talk bluntly about race in front of an audience that many argue is not always familiar with, nor embracing of, diversity. Rachel Lindsay even suggested that within Bachelor Nation there is a toxic subgroup she calls the “Bachelor Klan”

Emmanuel questioned how Matt felt about the woman he fell in love with having a past of racial insensitivity and how he has dealt with the pressures of being the first Black Bachelor. Matt and Emmanuel bonded over acknowledging the reality they both live as black men and feeling pressure to be perfect at all times, otherwise they’ll be unjustly stereotyped. 

Later in the episode, Emmanuel spoke with Rachael and had her acknowledge the controversial photos directly. Rachael finally spoke publicly on television about the controversy and admitted to making poor and ignorant decisions in her past.

Rachael also encouraged fans to not make excuses for her offensive actions or bully Matt online, because she was old enough to know better and it was her responsibility to do better. 

Matt and Rachael unsurprisingly reunite 

At the time of the finale, Matt had broken up with Rachael in order to give her time to reflect and grow in her awareness, while Rachael declared to the world that she was going to be putting in the work to be more educated and knowledgeable of US history. 

It was hardly a surprise when the two re-entered their relationship shortly after claiming they broke up and the couple remains together.

Despite questioning both of them on the finale, Emmanuel’s comment on Rachael’s recent post further indicates that he approves of the pair reuniting and finds them to be a cute couple. 

An instagram user commented under Emmanuel’s comment saying, “now you say that [laughing face emoji].”

Screenshot of comment from Rachael Kirkconnell's IG post.
Pic credit: @rachaelkirkconnell/Instagram

The comment, of course, made note of how Emmanuel’s approval of the couple was understandably less evident when he was the host on the final.

It seem that just as Rachael’s is (hopefully) still actively working to grow and learn, Emmanuel’s outlook on the couple has evolved as well.

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

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