Enough is enough. Rachel Lindsay is speaking out following her decision to deactivate her Instagram account on Friday, February 26.
“I saw something negative and I said, ‘You know what? Not today, not even this weekend,’ and currently still not now because I’m still disabled. It was the best decision that I could do for myself to detach from that negativity,” Lindsay, 35, explained on the Tuesday, March 2, episode of her “Higher Learning” podcast with Van Lathan. “I needed that. I feel so much better. I’m not 100 percent, but I feel lighter.”
She went on to thank Lathan, 40, for speaking out about the backlash and coming to her defense on social media. Hours after she deactivated her account, he posted a video via Instagram, revealing that she was being harassed by Bachelor and Chris Harrison fans.
“Leave Rachel the f—k alone. This harassment is going too far,” he wrote at the time. “My co host has zero today with the words of a grown ass man who still doesn’t get it. @chrisbharrison are you okay with people getting at Rachel to the point she can’t even exist on IG. Is anyone from the entire ‘Bachelor Nation’ going to stand up and condemn this harassment of a Black woman? Yo it’s just a f—king TV SHOW, y’all need to relax for real.”
The former Bachelorette also chose not to join cohost Becca Kufrin for their usual “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast on Tuesday. During the “Higher Learning” episode, she went on to explain the type of messages she was receiving following Harrison, 49, stepping away from the franchise.
“People are attacking me because they think that I’m trying to cancel someone so they’re on a mission to cancel me. I’m getting threatened,” Lindsay said. “People are threatening, like, ‘Oh I have this on you. I have this, I’m just waiting till you get back on social to unleash this kind of stuff.’ You’re affecting people’s well-being. Where does it end? Where does it stop? Until you take everybody down? That really can’t be.”
On Monday, March 1, the Bachelor producers released a statement following Lindsay deactivating her account.
“As executive producers of The Bachelor franchise we would like to make it perfectly clear that any harassment directed towards Rachel Lindsay in the aftermath of her interview with Chris Harrison is completely inexcusable,” the showrunners wrote via the Bachelor Nation Instagram account. “Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has been subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism. That is totally unacceptable.”
However, as the Bachelor alum noted on the podcast, the show has not yet spoken out regarding the controversy as a whole, which stemmed from the host defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell‘s racially insensitive Instagram photos during an Extra interview with Lindsay.
“Everyone who’s been an issue has issued an apology except for the franchise, except for the network, except for the production company. You need to hear something from them. It’s almost, like, how do you say you have a racist problem or racist issue without saying you have a racist issue? You bring in Emmanuel Acho to host the finale,” the Texas native said during the “Higher Learning” episode. “They need to come out and say something. They need to grab a hold of this and control the situation because right now, you’re letting your fans speak for you. This is an audience that you have curated for 15 years until you have the first lead of color: Me. You have built this. These people feel that they had their world and now people of color trying to mess it up. You did this. So you need to speak out and you need to say something. You need to undo it.”
Harrison announced he would not host the After the Final Rose special on February 13 following the controversy. The host, as well as Kirkconnell, 24, have apologized for their actions.