February 23, 2021
Matt James Speaks Out On 'Bachelor' Controversy Ahead Of Finale
Matt James meets the families of the final contestants on 'The Bachelor.'
ABC I Craig Sjodin
Celebrities

Matt James has spoken out about the controversy that has darkened his season of The Bachelor

The series' handsome male lead took show host Chris Harrison and the franchise to task for what he claimed was "troubling" behavior in an Instagram post.

In a slide shared on January 22, Matt explained his feelings.
"The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life," he began. 

Matt began by addressing what he felt was "heartbreaking" behavior on the part of show host Chris Harrison.

'These Past Few Weeks Have Been Some Of The Most Challenging Of My Life.'
Matt James photographed during filming of 'The Bachelor.'
ABC I Craig Sjodin

"The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life," he began. 

"While there are several episodes left of this season, it is important I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison."

"Chris' failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch," Matt continued.

Matt Reevaluates His 'Bachelor' Experience
Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell at the show's rose ceremony.
ABC I Craig Sjodin

"As black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor  franchise has fallen short on adequately addressing for years," he went on to say.

Matt said that these events have caused him to reevaluate and process his The Bachelor experience. Not just for him, but for all contestants of color that have appeared on the series.

Fans will likely hear more from Matt during the "After the Final Rose" episode of the series, which will air after its season-ender. 

He will probably address the topics mentioned above, and fans will learn even more regarding his feelings.

A Look Back At Chris Harrison & Rachel Lindsay's Talk
Chirs Harrison on the set of 'The Bachelorette'
ABC I Craig Sjodin

On February 10, Chris and Rachel discussed the photographs that had come to light of Rachael on the celebrity news series Extra. These sparked allegations of racism.

During their discussion, Chris and Rachel agreed it would be best if Rachael spoke out about this topic herself. He agreed with Rachel that while the photos did not shine the best light on the contestant, he stood by his comments that over time, perspectives can change on certain things.

During their talk, he said the contestant deserved "compassion" after social media posts surfaced where she was dressed as a Native American person and attending an antebellum plantation-themed ball.

Fans Weigh In On Matt's Post
Matt James as ABC's 'The Bachelor.'
ABC I Craig Sjodin

Fans of the series offered plenty of support for Matt's post.

"I love how this has really been the most dramatic season of all time," wrote one follower of The Bachelor.

"I hope this doesn’t ruin you guys if you picked her. She’s a good person, it was a mistake. People make mistakes and deserve forgiveness. We can all do better," penned a second fan.

"How to say you broke up with her without saying you broke up," claimed a third Instagram user.