Former ABC “The Bachelorette” lead Rachel Lindsey is doing her best to limit public scrutiny by deleting her Instagram after being blamed for the departure of “The Bachelor” franchise’s longtime host Chris Harrison.
Lindsay’s “Higher Learning” podcast co-host Van Lathan says the 35-year-old has experienced a tsunami of online hate, which ultimately lead her to disable the IG account.
“That’s how much hate she’s getting from ‘Bachelor’ fans, who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things,” Lathan said in a video explaining his co-host’s decision.
Lindsay, who became the franchise’s first Black bachelorette in 2017, was outspoken about her disappointment with Harrison defending a female contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, whose photograph at a plantation-themed party had resurfaced.
While interviewing Harrison for “Extra” on Feb. 9, Lindsay asked the host his thoughts on Kickconnell’s photograph scandal.
He responded: “First and foremost, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. I have seen some stuff online, again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart… Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this… I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago that’s it.”
Kirkconnell is a contender for this season’s bachelor Matt James, the franchise’s first Black male lead.
The public quickly weighed in on the conversation, which led Lindsay to address the brewing issue on the “Higher Learning” podcast. While she was unsure if firing Harrison was the most appropriate solution, she did say there was no remorse felt for allowing the host to air out his own problematic views.
“I don’t feel bad that the way he’s feeling was brought to light,” she said. “I don’t feel bad that people are mad at him and upset and disappointed. I don’t. But I do feel.”
Days later Harrison issued an apology for his remarks while also announcing he would be taking a leave of absence from the franchise. Harrison will be replaced by Emmanuel Acho, host of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black man,” for the finale.