Last week, the former lead of the ABC dating show, 29, wiped all of the content on his Instagram account after the end of his season

By Naledi Ushe
March 25, 2021 11:34 PM
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Matt James is back on Instagram with barely a trace of his Bachelor past.

Last week, the former lead of the ABC dating show, 29, wiped all of the content on his Instagram account after the end of his season.

The comments section on his posts were flooded with negativity, prompting his ex-girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell to use her account to urge people to stop "attacking" him with "racist insults" after the Bachelor star decided to end their relationship following the controversy surrounding racially insensitive photos of hers.

As of Wednesday, James' Instagram once again had posts featuring images of friends and family, photos of his social justice work, content about his charity ABC Food Tours that he does with friend and fellow Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron, and posts about his sports activities, including marathon running, skateboarding and football.

His bio has no mention of The Bachelor.

Credit: Matt James/Instagram

The only post which acknowledged he was part of the show is from February, where he condemned ABC host Chris Harrison for his Extra interview with the first Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay regarding Kirkconnell, 24.

During the 14-minute, unedited conversation, Harrison, 49, said people should have "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" in the wake of the resurfaced photos and questioned the "lens" of 2021 compared to 2018. After receiving backlash for his comments, Harrison issued two separate apologies and announced that he would be stepping away from the franchise.  

Matt James
Matt James
| Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images

The resurfaced photos showed Kirkconnell dressed in Native American attire as a costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. Kirkconnell has publicly apologized and asked those defending her actions to "please stop."

In response to the images and the interview, James wrote, "Chris' failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch." 

Credit: Matt James/Instagram

"As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years," he added.

"The tough thing is having to explain to America why those pictures are problematic to me," he said. "You hear people harping on forgiveness and I forgave her when she told me. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed and that I don't want her to do better."

As James continues to heal from their split, the real estate broker said he won't be dating while he jumps back into doing "meaningful work in the community." 

Matt James The Bachelor
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

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"In the meantime, I'm working on myself. I'm not going to be dating," he said. "I'm just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I've been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television." 

His younger brother, a rapper who goes by the name John the Scorpio, also recently spoke about the season 25 Bachelor's decision to take a step back from social media.

RELATED VIDEO: Rachel Lindsay Opens Up on Matt James, Rachael Kirkconnell and Their Split After The Bachelor Finale

"It's kind of like he's going through a detox phase of all the stuff that he was dealing with ABC and being in the spotlight and doing interviews," John said during an appearance on Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay last Friday.

"He's in a better place, people don't need to worry about how he is because he's doing good."