Rachel Lindsay has formally accepted Chris Harrison’s latest apology over their contentious “Extra” interview — on “Extra,” no less.
Rachel Lindsay is speaking out after Chris Harrison apologized to her while discussing his racism controversy during an interview with Good Morning America.
On Thursday, Harrison said he made a “mistake” by defending current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist actions and issued Lindsay — and the Black community — an apology.
“I do accept the apology, Billy, and I think it’s important for me to say that because I haven’t really talked about, you know, Chris and the statement because I’m not trying to make this a Chris-versus-Rachel. But the fact that, once again, you know — this isn’t the first time he’s apologized to me — he apologized again on GMA today and I do accept that and I think it’s important for me to say that because we need to move forward,” said Lindsay.
“And for me, for us to move forward, I need to accept the apology, so we can all be better from this situation, which is what we want,” she added.
Last month, Harrison, 49, first came under fire for his Extra interview with Lindsay. At the time, he weighed in on Kirkconnell’s resurfaced social media posts, which saw her dressed in Native American attire in costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. (Kirkconnell has since issued an apology and asked those defending her actions to “please stop.”)
After receiving backlash for his failure to denounce Kirkconnell’s behavior, Harrison apologized and announced that he would be “stepping aside” from the franchise, including that he would not appear in the After the Final Rose special.
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay,” Harrison said on GMA. “I didn’t speak for my heart, that is to say I stand against all forms of racism … I’m sorry to Rachel Lindsay and I’m sorry to the Black community.”
“I made a mistake and I own that,” he continued. “Racism, oppression, this is a dynamic problem and they take work and I am committed to that work.”
Harrison also said he reached out to Lindsay to personally apologize after the Extra interview, but had not talked to her since she deactivated her Instagram account due to harassment.
“To anyone who Is throwing hate at Rachel Lindsay please stop … I am not a victim here, I made a mistake and I own that,” he said.
During her discussion with Bush on Extra, Lindsay said she appreciated that Harrison addressed the harassment that she’s been receiving in the wake of their interview.
“I wasn’t expecting him, you know to address what’s been going on with me because this is the first time we’ve heard from Chris, but the fact that he did address the harassment and the hate that I’ve been receiving, I really appreciate that,” she shared.
Lindsay previously spoke out about Harrison’s decision to step away from the franchise, calling the move the “right decision.”
“He needs to take time to get educated and on a profound and productive level to use his word,” she told Extra. “And I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong, and what he said in that interview, and he needs time. He’s stepped away to do that.”
It was previously announced that Emmanuel Acho — who hosts the web series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man and authored a best-selling book by the same name — would be stepping in as host of After the Final Rose.
Looking ahead, Lindsay said it’s important that people continue having “tough” and “uncomfortable” conversations.
“Listen, in 2020, it was all about people realizing things that they hadn’t before. It was a level of awareness that was created that people hadn’t necessarily recognized. And out of that also came conversations that we should be having whether they’re tough, uncomfortable, whatever it may be,” she said on Extra Thursday.
“Isn’t that what this should be as well? It’s bigger than just The Bachelor, it’s bigger than just a reality TV show. There are a lot of issues that have come up because of this interview, and I think it’s important that we continue the conversation, we continue to move forward,” said Lindsay, adding “that’s the best thing that we can hope for out of all of this.”
In the Harrison, had already tapped weeks worth of “The Bachelor,” so he really only walked away from one episode and gave an apology that seemed like lip service. Best apology is changed behavior and we will be watching.