Rachael Kirkconnell Speaks on Bachelor ATFR: Watch Interview


During Matt James’s season of The Bachelor, photos of finalist Rachael Kirkconnell attending a racist antebellum-themed plantation party in 2018 surfaced, causing a massive controversy within the franchise. Despite calls for Rachael to issue a public apology, she initially remained silent—and even worse, her photos were defended by Chris Harrison.

Chris has since stepped away from the franchise and apologized for defending her racist actions, and he was replaced as host of “After the Final Rose” by Emmanuel Acho—who sat down with Rachael and asked what she sees when she looks at the photos of herself at the antebellum-themed party.

“I see someone who was living in this ignorance without even, like, thinking about who it would be hurting,” she said. “You know, I never once asked myself at any point, like, what’s the tradition behind this? What does this represent? You know, why do we wear those dresses? I’m not going to sit here and say that I didn’t know any better, because I could have easily asked myself those questions. You know, I never took the time to make that connection. ’Cause if I would have taken the time, I easily could have understood what was wrong with it.”

Rachael also explained that she doesn’t blame anyone but herself for her ignorance, saying, “I think that people need to realize that just saying, ‘This is normal where I came from’ or ‘This is common where I came from,’ that doesn’t make it right. And that doesn’t make it okay.”

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She also talked a bit about what she’s been doing to educate herself, saying that while she could “give you a list” of what she’s been reading and watching, “I don’t think anything is going to change if we don’t take those actions to put that education into play.”

Rachael previously released an apology on Instagram, saying in part, “My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”

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FYI, Rachael also released a video apology, which you can watch below:

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