The Bachelor star Rachael Kirkconnell is breaking her silence.
The reality star is caught in scandal after controversial photos from 2018 surfaced, as she attended a plantation-themed party.
In the photos, she was smiling, posing, and having a great time.
For days, Rachael didn’t say anything about the photos, possibly due to her contractual agreements with ABC.
But now, she’s speaking out, even if it means breaking her contract with the network.
Rachael Kirkconnell issues her apology
She issued her statement on her social media account, which was quickly reshared by Bachelor social accounts and Reality Steve.
It had been days in the making, as fans were waiting for Rachael to issue her statement.
“I hear you and I’m here to say I was wrong,” Rachael wrote on her Instagram.
“At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
Rachael apologized to the communities and individuals, who were harmed or upset with her actions. She also pointed to being ashamed due to her lack of education. She put the blame entirely on herself.
“Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions. I will never grow unless I recognize what I have done is wrong. I don’t think one apology means that I deserve your forgiveness but I rather I hope i can earn your forgiveness through my future actions.”
In a follow-up statement, Rachael pointed out that her apology was for people of color and that any people who doesn’t identify as such had no right to criticize her apology. She also asked to please be respectful of those who had been hurt by her actions.
When someone told her that her actions essentially meant more than her words and that changed behavior was the root of the best apology, Rachael replied that she agreed. It appears that she’s ready to put her words into action to show that she’s sorry for what happened.
Yesterday, we reported that Rachael had not issued a statement immediately after the incident went viral because of her contract with ABC. It took her days to say something, letting Bachelor Nation, including Chris Harrison, speak on her behalf.
While Reality Steve had initially said that posting on social media would not go against her contract, @bachelornation.scoop revealed that they had looked at three different contracts where the language is very clear – don’t share posts that involve the show, ABC or the production company.
While Rachael kept silent, another person decided to speak out.
Chris Harrison spoke to Rachel Lindsay about the photos and he seemingly didn’t understand why people were angry. The interview sparked so much anger that fans started a petition to get Chris fired from his hosting gig on The Bachelor.
Rachael Kirkconnell’s drama and Chris Harrison’s interview continue to be focal points
After Chris’ interview, people were furious, so the women from Matt James’ season of The Bachelor decided to put out a statement.
“Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change,” they write. “We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism.”
The women also made sure to mention Rachel Lindsay, who spoke out against what had happened.
“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’s alone. We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her.”
Rachel shared this image on her social media account, revealing that the women’s statement moved her and she thanked them for using their platform to speak out.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.