An historic season of The Bachelor has led to an historic joint statement by the women on The Bachelor.
As fans of this franchise obviously know by now, Matt James is the first Black lead in show history.
This has been a subject that’s been openly discussed and analyzed ever since James landed the role.
But the topic of race on the series is now more prevalent than ever, with all eyes suddenly on The Bachelor for how its seemingly mishandled an ongoing controversy.
Earlier this year, Rachael Kirkconnell was accused by an ex-high school classmate of treating African-American students in an inappropriate manner.
Shortly afterward, social media photos resurfaced that depicted Kirkconnell attending an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018, while she has also Liked pictures with the Confederate Flag.
Chris Harrison then went ahead and got in trouble for sort of defending the Season 25 front-runner.
The host asked for “grace, understanding and compassion” when it came to judging Rachael, warning critics to NOT serve as her “judge, jury [and] executioner.”
Harrison has since apologized for these remarks.
And Kirkconnell just shared her first statement on the issue as well, admitting that she has acted in a “racist” manner in the past and stating the was “wrong” for doing so.
In a letter posted on Thursday by several of James’ contestants, meanwhile, they group began:
“We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change.
“We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism.”
We’re pretty sure this marks the first time suitors have come together to make any sort of statement — while a season is still airing, no less.
“Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized,” the contestants continued.
The women directed their support to the first Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay after her intense conversation with Harrison explaining the negative implications of Kirkconnell’s actions.
This is how they concluded their important message:
“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 is alone.
“We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her.”
Wrote Rachael as part of her mea culpa on Thursday:
“While there have been rumors circulation, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong.
“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 OK in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
This has all been especially noteworthy because The Bachelor spoilers predict Kirkconnell actually wins Season 25.
“I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended,” she added.
“I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me.
“I am learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist, because it’s important to speak up in the moment and not after you’re called out.
“If you are a person who doesn’t understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use them as a teachable moment.”