Chris Harrison Asks ‘Bachelor’ Fans to Have ‘Compassion’ Amid Contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s Controversial Actions

Chris Harrison’s believes that Bachelor fans should allow contestant Rachael Kirkconnell the opportunity to speak her truth amid allegations of past racist behavior.

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“First and foremost, I don’t know [exactly what’s going on]. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” the longtime Bachelor host, 49, told Rachel Lindsay on Extra on Tuesday, February 9. “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.”

Former Bachelorette Rachel, 35, argued that it’s “frustrating” because there isn’t anything that “contractually stops” Rachael from denying the allegations. The former attorney then asked Chris whether the franchise will address the contestant’s controversy since she is dating a Black man, being Bachelor Matt James.

Chris Harrison Bachelor Rachael Kirkconnell Controversial Actions
Chris Harrison and Rachael Kirkconnell Shutterstock; ABC

“The show does push these social issues and then we will talk about it. On the Woman Tell All, we do get into it,” he revealed. “Rachael was not there, so we didn’t get into the Rachael of it all but Rachael will have her time to speak. Hopefully, I will be there to have that debate with her and I will push her. I don’t think the show needs to speak before Rachael does.”

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Chris added, “I respect her enough to allow her the courtesy of time and she can speak on her own.”

Following the season 25 premiere on January 4, a TikTok user accused Rachael of previously bullying the individual over their attraction to Black men. The graphic designer, 34, then came under fire for allegedly “liking” racially-charged pics and wearing a controversial costume. More recently, photos surfaced of Rachael in attendance at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.

The Georgia native has not commented on the controversy.

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After Matt and Rachael confessed that they were falling in love with each other on the February 1 episode, the 29-year-old North Carolina native spoke out about the contender’s questionable past.

Chris Harrison Bachelor Rachael Kirkconnell Controversial Actions Matt James
Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell ABC/Craig Sjodin

“I have not spoken to anybody since the show ended, but I would say that you have to be really careful about what you are doing on social media,” he told Entertainment Tonight on February 2. “Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people’s lives. So I would give people the benefit of the doubt, and hopefully, she will have her time to speak on that.”

The real estate broker pointed out that “there’s a lot of stuff going around about the women that were involved in the show.” He, therefore, believes that fans should “just give them a chance to kind of [say] their piece” because “everyone has a story.”

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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