In the days since Matt James’ The Bachelor finale, there have been polarized opinions on whether or not he should’ve split with his final pick, Rachael Kirkconnell. The couple revealed they ended things shortly after photos of her attending an antebellum-themed plantation party went viral in February 2020. Even though Rachael supports Matt’s decision and recognizes that she needs to take time to educate herself, some fans were quick to side with her and harass Matt online. As those comments continued to rush in, former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay called out Bachelor Nation for criticizing Matt and his breakup.
“It's wild out there, y'all. It's so toxic. Bachelor Nation, y'all are gonna be the reason this show doesn't exist anymore, 'cause you're so damn toxic,” she said on her and Van Lathan's podcast, Higher Learning. “You're gonna be the demise of the show and the reason it's taken down. You're nasty. You're vile. You're harassing Matt for a decision that he made. He supports the girl. He's allowing her to do it on her own. Let's move on.”
Rachel, who temporarily deactivated her Instagram after receiving hateful messages following a controversial interview with Bachelor host Chris Harrison, also took issue with production’s decision to have two Bachelorette seasons. Katie Thurston will lead a season that premieres this summer. Then, Michelle Young will take on the role for the show’s fall premiere, a decision that Lindsay says is a quick fix to a larger racial representation issue in the franchise.
“Listen, it had been rumored for weeks that it was Katie. All of a sudden you want to say, ‘Guess what? Surprise twist! We have two Bachelorettes!’ Come on, y'all,” Rachel told Lathan. “I like Michelle a lot, but this is the problem with the franchise. The answer is not giving us a Black Bachelorette. If you're really trying to fix your issues, that's not it.”
Rachel also believes that theme is evident in ABC’s announcement that former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe would step in for Harrison next season. “Don't like the fact that you're gonna give us, ‘Oh, we got a white Bachelorette, now we're gonna give you a Black Bachelorette. We got a white host coming in to fill in for Chris, we're gonna give you a Black one too,’ Rachel explained. “I'm not for it.”
In all, Rachel admitted that she’s “never been more excited for a season to be over with” and that she and Lathan “will not be covering the next season.”