Rachel Lindsay Shares Why She's Having a 'Really Hard Time' Accepting Chris Harrison's Apology

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Rachel Lindsay is making her stance clear. The 35-year-old TV host and first Black Bachelorette gave her unfiltered thoughts on Friday during her podcast, Higher Learning With Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay

Over the course of the episode, Lindsay spoke about the recent controversy surrounding her interview with Bachelor Nation host and executive producer Chris Harrison, in which she asked him about the alleged racist behavior of this season's contestant and presumed front-runner, Rachael Kirkconnell. 

Harrison has since issued a formal apology for his comments defending Kirkconnell, saying he "should have been better informed" on the topics discussed, adding, "While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry."

On her podcast, Lindsay responded to Harrison's actions and subsequent apology. 

"He never gave me room to talk and he never gave me room to share my perspective," she said of herExtra interview with Harrison. "He wasn't trying to hear it. He was just trying to be heard. And that's because I felt like he had an agenda that he was really trying to push."

Lindsay added that she purposefully kept her cool during the interview and didn't speak up. 

"The reason is, once I do [react or show emotion], that is all people will see. I will be angry. I will be aggressive. You will not hear what I'm saying," she said. "You will not hear what the other person -- Chris Harrison in this instance -- was saying. You will only see the reaction. And when I saw how this interview was going, I said, 'I'm just gonna sit back and let this man talk.'"

Lindsay also shared that Harrison reached out to her directly before issuing a public apology. 

"He's apologized since then, and I definitely want to say that he did reach out to me and we had a conversation, a short conversation, but a conversation and he apologized and I appreciate that," she shared of Harrison. "And then he did the statement." 

But Lindsay noted that the Bachelor Nation host's words didn't ring true to her. 

"I'm having a really, really hard time reasoning or really taking in and accepting this apology and I'll tell you why," she said. "When I finished that interview with Chris Harrison, he had no problems with it. He was fine. He texted me after. He appreciated the conversation. He was like, 'Yeah, I'll probably get a little flack.' He thought it was great that we could disagree but do it in a civil way." 

Lindsay said that his apology didn't come until after the backlash that followed the interview. 

"It wasn't until the backlash came next, it wasn't until people started talking, people started demanding and calling for different things that he then apologized to me and then apologized publicly," she said. 

Calling him the "face of the franchise," Lindsay added that she felt that Harrison's comments during their interview were a reflection of the show itself. 

"I don't like labeling people, like racist is a really strong word. There is implicit racism, absolutely," she said when asked if the franchise was "racist" by her podcast co-host. "The Bachelor franchise has a race problem... you gotta be hiding under a rock to not realize it."

Lindsay went on to say that she is "exhausted" by the various race-related controversies in Bachelor Nation in recent years. 

"I wanted the franchise to be better. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I'm connected to it. It did stuff for me and I'll never forget that, but how much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take of this?" she asked before confirming, "I can't take it anymore. I'm contractually bound in some ways, but when it's up, I am too. I can't. I can't do it anymore." 

As for Kirkconnell, Lindsay noted, "Her statement put Chris' to shame." But that a simple apology is not enough. 

"I would like to remind everybody that an apology is a step, baby step in the right direction, but it's just an apology," she said. "We gotta see it. Now, I'm holding you to what you said. It's great that you said it, it's great that you put that out there. I'm holding you to it. I'm gonna be honest though, the other side of me doesn't care. It took you six weeks to address something that's been festering. Six weeks."

After Matt James' Bachelor premiere last month, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell -- an early front-runner on the show -- of bullying her in the past for dating Black men. Last week, another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Pics have also surfaced of Kirkconnell at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. 

Kirkconnell also reposted a letter from her co-stars this season to her Stories, denouncing racism. 

"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," the message read. "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." 

ET recently spoke with James about his reaction to Kirkconnell's scandal. Here's what he had to say:  

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