Rachel Lindsay opened up about why she believes Matt James’ conversation with his father, Manny James, shouldn’t have aired on the Monday, March 8, episode of The Bachelor.
“I felt it in my soul, and I had to speak out about it because I am so disturbed at what I just watched take place on the Bachelor stage — the conversation between Matt and his father,” the 35-year-old former Bachelorette began on the “Bachelor Party” podcast after Monday’s episode of the ABC show. “What’s the one thing we know about his dad? That he wasn’t around. If you know anything about stereotypes that are assigned to particular races, here, the Black race, you know that absentee fathers is a stereotype.”
Matt, 29, was joined by his father, who split from his mother when the former football player was young, during Monday’s episode ahead of his fantasy suite dates with his final three — Rachael Kirkconnell, Bri Springs and Michelle Young. During their emotional chat, things got tense when Matt confronted Manny over cheating on then-wife Patty James.
“I don’t want you to make excuses. … I thank God that she had the courage to stand up for herself and do something because of the situation you put her in,” Matt told his dad. “This isn’t a celebration. This is a journey that I’m going on. That’s why you’re here, dad. I want to have a relationship with you going forward and in order to have that, you have to understand where I’m at.”
Manny ultimately apologized to Matt. “It had to get to this point. Whatever I can do to make it better, I’ll work on it. I want you to be happy,” he said. “I want you to have a relationship that’s healthy and not what I went through.”
Lindsay, for her part, believes that the conversation “should have never been aired for America to see.”
The attorney explained: “I know what producers would probably say about this. … This conversation may have been necessary for Matt. Maybe Matt did need this, but this was a conversation that should have been just for Matt, not for the rest of the world to see.”
Lindsay, who was the first Black lead on the series and met husband Bryan Abasolo on season 13 of The Bachelorette, cited Matt’s conversation with his dad as an example of the show not caring about contestations, “specifically the ones of color.”
“The fact that you were so willing to throw him under the bus and exploit him for stereotypes within the community for what you would call ‘good TV,’” she said. “The fact that they cannot see the underlying issues — or you know what’s even worse? Not that they probably can’t see them, they don’t care. I know for a fact — please listen to me when I say this — I know for a fact that Matt was uncomfortable with this conversation and the fact that it was going to be aired.”
Matt, meanwhile, took to Twitter after the tense moment aired on the reality show and shared an article titled, “Media Portrayals and Black Male Outcomes.”
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“Tonight’s convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it’s just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me. I just wanted to say that too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media. And they have consequences when presented without context,” he wrote. “All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play. I’m so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I’m so proud of my mother. I wouldn’t be who I am without my dad. That’s a fact.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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