“I’ve been catching up and reading about everything that’s been going on in Bachelor Nation, and Lord knows, I’ve made mistakes,” the former Bachelorette, 26, began in a series of Instagram Story videos on Friday, February 12. “But I have learned this past year if we wanna move forward, we have to confront where we have fallen short, and it’s so important that we lift up and listen and value and encourage underrepresented voices.”
Although Brown insisted that change is necessary within Bachelor Nation, she acknowledged that she is still learning herself. “We just have to be better, and while being accountable has helped me evolve so much as a person, I am still not a perfect person,” she said. “But I do remain committed to the work and am so humbled and truly grateful to be on this journey and can only hope that I encourage others to educate themselves to go on the journey as well.”
Harrison, 49, sparked backlash on Tuesday, February 9, when he asked fans to have “compassion” for Kirkconnell, 24, amid allegations of previous racist behavior. (The graphic designer has since apologized.) He also brought up Brown’s May 2020 use of the N-word during his sit-down with Rachel Lindsay for Extra.
“He threw in Hannah Brown. Now, we all know how I feel about that situation. Not once, but twice [Harrison] said that we didn’t give Hannah Brown space, we didn’t give her the grace that she needed. Y’all remember, Hannah Brown said the N-word, right? … And then disappeared for two weeks before she formed together a written statement that disappeared on her Story after 24 hours?” Lindsay, 35, explained during the Friday episode of the “Higher Learning” podcast. “But I’m supposed to have grace for that when I’m the one who’s offended [by] it. I don’t even need to get into that because we’ve already talked about the weight of that word.”
Brown came under fire after she sang the N-word on Instagram Live in May 2020. Two weeks later, she returned to the platform to apologize. “I don’t want to be ignorant anymore,” she said at the time. “I don’t want to an ignorant white girl who uses the N-word. … If you want to support me, do not defend me. What I did and what I said was indefensible.”
Harrison, for his part, expressed remorse via Instagram on Wednesday, February 10, after many Bachelor Nation alums called him out. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry,” he wrote. “I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has first hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”