Rachel Lindsay Says She Regrets Being 'Silent' During Controversial Chris Harrison Interview

"I was mad at myself that I was silent," said the former Bachelorette

Rachel Lindsay has some regrets when it comes to her controversial interview with Chris Harrison earlier this year.

During an appearance on the podcast Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo Wednesday, Lindsay said she wish she would have spoken up more during the interview with Harrison, which ultimately led to the longtime Bachelor Nation host's exit from the franchise.

"I don't know if I've ever said this, but I was a little mad at myself," Lindsay, 36, said. "Because I have a bit of a temper, I'm extremely opinionated. I like a good debate and I was mad at myself that I was silent."

The interview Lindsay was referring to happened on Extra back in February. Lindsay and Harrison were discussing Rachel Kirkconnell, a contestant on Matt James' season of The Bachelor who came under fire for past racist behavior that resurfaced online while the season was airing. Lindsay addressed the controversy with Harrison, who defended Kirkconnell.

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison
Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison. Noel Vasquez/Getty; ohn Fleenor via Getty

During the interview, Harrison asked the public to have "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" for Kirkconnell, and said the moral "lens" of 2018, when Kirkconnell's photos were taken, differed from that of 2021.

He later apologized and called his defense a "mistake."

Looking back, Lindsay said that while she was trying to do her job as a reporter and let him speak, she wishes she would have interjected more.

"There were so many things that I wanted to say, and I didn't and it took a while for me to say 'but you were doing your job.' It wasn't a debate," she said on the podcast. "You know, it was an interview and you had to allow him to say what he wanted to say. But a part of me was really upset with myself because I felt like there was more I could have said, and I felt like I didn't stand up for myself."

After the backlash, Lindsay also distanced herself from the Bachelor franchise and took a break from social media.

"Not only did I step off of social media for a while, but I also just stepped away from the franchise," Lindsay told Pompeo. "And it had kind of been building up, and I think what happened was Chris was the last straw because it highlighted for the first time more in a way than anyone had ever had before you saw what we go through as people of color are a part of this franchise when it comes to the audience."

chris harrison
Chris Harrison. John Fleenor/Getty

She also said she became frustrated after some fans blamed her for Harrison's exit.

"Chris became a martyr for cancel culture to a huge audience. And so people who didn't watch the show, then started to say, 'Oh, she canceled him,'" she said. "And then I got attached to that as well. So it went beyond just what happened with the show and that interview."

While Lindsay has since moved on, she said she has not spoken to Harrison since the scandal first broke.

"He did call me the day after when [the interview] started to pick up steam and when people were starting to get negative about it and all of these things," she said. "He asked me if I was okay, I told him how I felt and he said he's sorry that he made me feel that way. Yes, he did apologize and then I have not talked to him since that day."

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