Rachel Lindsay Thinks Bachelor Franchise 'Should Just Stop' Filming Until They 'Figure Things Out'
The former Bachelorette, 35, said Tuesday on her Higher Learning podcast that as filming is about to begin on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, "I think that they should just stop until … they get the train back on the tracks" in terms of the ongoing racism controversy.
"You're gonna go into another season, but you still have all these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season?" Lindsay said. "You really haven't. So I think that they need to take a beat, figure things out, regroup and then bring the product back to us [in] a way that we can all enjoy it the way that we used to."
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Last month, Lindsay interviewed longtime Bachelor Nation host Harrison, 49, for Extra and asked him about current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's resurfaced social media posts that showed racist behavior, including attending an Antebellum South-themed party and wearing Native American attire as a costume.
Harrison quickly received backlash for his failure to denounce Kirkconnell's acts during the interview, and apologized a couple days later before announcing he will be "stepping aside" from the franchise for an unspecified amount of time. (Kirkconnell, 24, has also apologized for her actions).
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On Tuesday's episode of her podcast, which she co-hosts alongside media personality Van Lathan, Lindsay noted, "Everyone who's been at issue has issued an apology except for the franchise, except for the network, except for the production company."
"You need to hear something from them. It's almost like, how do you say you have a racist problem or racist issue without saying you have a racist issue? You bring in Emmanuel Acho to host the finale — you bring in the man who has his own uncomfortable conversations," she continued. "You're not saying it, yet you're bringing somebody in who has built an entire brand to rectify, or attempt to, or explain the issue when it involves racism."
"They need to come out and say something. They need to grab ahold of this and control the situation, because right now, you're letting your fans speak for you," Lindsay said.
The television host called on the powers that be to take action, imploring, "This is an audience that you have curated for 15 years until you had the first lead of color: me. You have built this. These people feel that they had their world, and now people of color are trying to mess it up. You did this."
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"So you need to speak out and you need to say something. You need to undo it. And at the moment, they're silent," she added.
As for why she deactivated her Instagram account last week, Lindsay said on the podcast that it was a form of self-care after all the harassment she was receiving online.
"I woke up, I looked at my phone — one of the first things I saw [was] something negative and I said, 'You know what? Not today. Not even this weekend,' and currently still not now, because I'm still disabled," she said.
Lindsay continued, "It was the best decision that I could [make] for myself to detach from that negativity. I needed that. I feel so much better. I'm not 100%, but I feel lighter."