Race has been a big subject in this season of The Bachelor. In addition to Matt James being the first Black lead in the show’s history, the diversity amongst the contestants vying for James’ affection is unprecedented. While James is happy to break the mold in what a bachelor looks like on the show, he admits to having a severe amount of pressure on him, including feeling pressured into choosing a Black suitor.
But that isn’t the only subject matter involving race this season. Contestant and presumed frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell has been under scrutiny after controversial social media posts resurfaced.
Chris Harrison, the host of the show has also waded into controversy and petitions have called for his firing after he alluded to the idea that Kirkconnell should be given “grace” for her past mistakes. He later apologized for his remarks.
Twenty-five of the women who are on the show with Kirkconnell this season wrote an open letter condemning racist behavior and seemingly insinuate disappointment toward Harrison’s defense. The letter reads in part:
“We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized.”
On the show, Kirkconnell and James fall in love with one another rather quickly. There’s already speculation that James chooses Kirkconnell in the end, which has already caused a ruckus.