'Bachelor's Rachael Kirkconnell Addresses 'Offensive and Racist' Actions

Viewers called out Rachael shortly after the 'Bachelor's premiere last month.

Rachael Kirkconnell is speaking out. The Bachelor contestant took to Instagram on Thursday to address the allegations of racism leveled against her. 

Rachael was an early frontrunner when Matt James' season of The Bachelor premiered last month. However, just after the premiere, a TikTok user accused Rachael of bullying her in the past for dating Black men, and last week, another user accused Rachael of liking racist photos. Pics have also surfaced of Rachael at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. 

Her statement comes one day after Bachelor host Chris Harrison issued an apology for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism" by defending Rachael in an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. See Rachael's full statement below: 

"While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I'm here to say I was wrong.

At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.

I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one's responsibility to educate me. I am learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist, because it's important to speak up in the moment and not after you're called out. If you are a person who doesn't understand the offense in question, I urge you to use them as a teachable moment." 

As for my family, I love them and how they raised me to be my own individual. They have always encouraged me to have my own views, opinions, and beliefs. 

As I was thinking about what I wanted to say, I couldn't help but think about how sick people must be of reading these kinds of statements; how a person didn't realize the trauma that their actions would inflict on other people. It must get so exhausting. I want to put my energy towards preventing people from making the same offensive mistakes that I made in the first place, and I hope I can prove this to you moving forward.

Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions. I will never grow unless I recognize what I have done is wrong. I don't think one apology means that I deserve your forgiveness, but rather I hope that I can earn your forgiveness through my future actions."

Hours later, she posted another statement on her Instagram Story.

"My statement and apology is for people of color that I have offended, if you do not identify as BIPOC then it is not your apology to accept or not," she wrote. "Please be respectful to those who have been affected."

Instagram Story

In an interview with ET last week, Matt encouraged fans not to jump to conclusions about Rachael. 

"I have not spoken to anybody since the show ended, but I would say that you have to be really careful about what you are doing on social media," he said. "Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people's lives. So I would give people the benefit of the doubt, and hopefully she will have her time to speak on that."

"There's a lot of stuff going around about the women that were involved in the show," he added. "I would just give them a chance to kind of have their piece, whether that is someone who was gone night one or someone who went home last night. Everyone has a story, and I would just be receptive to that."

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 


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