'Bachelor' Executive Producers Condemn Online Harassment Aimed at Rachel Lindsay

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The executive producers of The Bachelor are speaking out to show support for Rachel Lindsay. The producers released a joint statement to social media condemning those who have attacked and harassed Lindsay in the wake of her interview with Chris Harrison.

"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 unacceptable," the statement read.

"Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has ben subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism," the statement continued. "That is totally unacceptable."

"Rachel has been an incredible advocate for our cast, and we are grateful that she has worked tirelessly towards racial equality and inclusion," the statement concluded.

Harrison announced on Feb. 13 that he'd be taking time off and would not be hosting the show's upcoming After the Final Rose special. The announcement came in his second apology for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's racist actions during a controversial interview with Lindsay.  Kirkconnell has also issued an apology. 

Just after James' Bachelor premiere in January, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell -- an early frontrunner on the show -- of bullying her in the past for dating Black men. Then, another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Pics have also surfaced of Kirkconnell at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. 

In a statement on Instagram on Feb. 11, Kirkconnell apologized, and said she hoped to "earn your forgiveness through my future actions."

That apology came one day after Harrison issued his own statement, apologizing for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism" by defending Kirkconnell's racist actions in an interview with Lindsay, asking people to offer Kirkconnell "grace." 

Many fans continued to speak out against Harrison, while nearly all the contestants on James' season -- including Kirkconnell -- shared a post condemning "any defense of racism." 

In a follow-up statement on Feb. 13, Harrison revealed he'd be stepping away for a "period of time." 

"By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke ,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong," he continued in part, before sending a message to the Black and BIPOC communities.

"The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time," Harrison wrote.

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