The former Bachelorette, 35, took to Instagram on Thursday, February 11, to share a photo of herself meditating along with the caption, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference 🖤.”
Several Bachelor Nation stars rallied behind Lindsay. Kendall Long praised her for being “so well spoken” and holding herself “tremendously well.” Bibiana Julian commented with a black heart and a prayer hands emoji, as Whitney Fransway dropped a red heart and a sparkle emoji. Bekah Martinez joked about how she is “trying not to reach through the screen to slap tf out of Chris,” while Kristina Schulman wrote, “You have it all within you ❤️✨.”
The stark criticism for Harrison, 49, comes after he failed to denounce Kirkconnell’s past racist behavior in an interview with the former attorney. Instead, he suggested that graphic designer — who is currently vying for Bachelor Matt James’ heart — deserved the opportunity to speak her truth.
“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,” Harrison told 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.”
The “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast cohost then asked whether the franchise will address the controversy, to which the longtime Bachelor host revealed that viewers can expect to see “social issues” discussed during the Women Tell All special later this season.
“Rachael was not there, so we didn’t get into the Rachael of it all, but Rachael will have her time to speak,” he explained. “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. I respect her enough to allow her the courtesy of time and she can speak on her own.”
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Amid the backlash to Harrison’s comments, Bachelor fans created petitions calling for his firing from the franchise. He subsequently issued an apology via Instagram.
“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology,” he wrote on Wednesday, February 10. “I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday, I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf.”
He added, “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. 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.”
Kirkconnell, 24, has faced multiple allegations regarding her past racially-charged actions. Following the January 4 premiere, a TikTok user accused the Georgia native of bullying her for their interest in Black men. She was then called out for allegedly “liking” insensitive photos, wearing a problematic costume and for attending an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
The reality star has not addressed the controversy.