It has been a troublesome few weeks for Bachelor Nation, and now Matt James has finally broken his silence about how he feels about Chris Harrison and Rachael Kirkconnell.
He shared a statement on his Instagram account late Monday night, ahead of the latest Bachelor episodes.
Matt James’ long statement about Bachelor Nation drama
In his message, Matt said that the last couple of weeks have been some of toughest he’s ever experienced, as he’s been learning about everything in real-time along with everyone else.
“The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life,” he wrote, before referencing the “incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison,” explaining that he has found the revelations “devastating and heartbreaking”.
Matt also said that franchise had “fallen short” on addressing the same issues adequately for years.
“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,” Matt concluded.
Matt James wasn’t prepared for the outcome
A few weeks ago, a photo surfaced of Rachael Kirkconnell, from 2018, attending a Southern Belle antebellum party. Also known as “Old South” parties, they have been labelled as racist.
Fans waited for Rachael to speak out about the photos, but she remained silent.
Then, Chris Harrison carried out how now-infamous interview with Rachel Lindsay, where he appeared to defend Rachael’s actions by asking people to withhold judgment.
Bachelor Nation called for Chris to be fired from the franchise over the interview.
In the following days, Rachael issued a statement as well, admitting her actions were wrong.
It sounds like Matt wasn’t prepared for the outcome of the interview that Chris Harrison did with Rachel Lindsay. After it went live, members of Bachelor Nation called for Chris to step back from the hosting role, a job he has held for two decades.
Just over a week ago, Chris announced he would be stepping back temporarily and would not be hosting the After The Final Rose special. However, he said nothing about hosting the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
ABC is reportedly trying to remove Chris from the final episodes of The Bachelor as much as possible to ensure he gets as much time away from the audience as possible.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.More: Chris Harrison, Matt James, Rachael Kirkconnell, The Bachelor