Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ratings, Mike Johnson Speaks, & When is the Next IG Live?

Photo Credit: ABC

Hey Steve! First time writer!! I had a few questions for you and I’m sorry if you already have answered these in the past.

1. Is there any specific story/spoiler/scandal that you genuinely were shocked or taken aback when first hearing about it? I think the BIP shut down after the Corrine/DeMario incident was shocking. I thought that show, or at least that season, was over.

2. What about a specific story or scandal that you were really excited or proud of writing about? Proud? I don’t know if proud is the right word. But I feel I was justified in the Victoria F. story since the show made two storylines out of the things I first reported.

3. Has there been any stories that you wish you hadn’t run with or that you wish you didn’t “have” to run with before you posted it? I know your picky on what you run on. Obviously the Jenna story.

4. Do you prefer to spoil seasons how they used to be? (As in traveling, pre-covid) or have you enjoyed the past few seasons?( no traveling) Has it been making your job easier? Harder? Pre-COVID was much easier and much more fun. This has been harder and not as detailed. And that pisses off a lot of fans. But then again, if this were easy, everyone would be doing it. A lot of people complaining about my site, yet, I’m still giving them things that no one else is. But they have a hard time accepting that.

5. How have they been doing the happy couple weekends since covid? Are they staying at the same resort? I don’t know the exact locations. Well, one I do. But they still have them.

6. Do you think we’ll ever start seeing less and less of people like Garret and Rachael in further seasons? Seems like they never learn.

Thanks Steve for all you do!!

Comment: One would hope so.
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Hi Steve,

I wanted to start the email with just explaining my thoughts on the Rachel/Chris/Rachael situation. I watched the full live that you and Ashley did this past Tuesday. I was brought to tears as I was reading some of the comments that were on there. I realized some people are just never going to learn, no matter how much they are told about certain topics. It’s a sad, sad world we live in. I want to thank you and Ashley for everything you did. I’m a 18 year old, white woman, but I can only imagine how impactful that is for the black community. You and Ashley are definitely role models. You should be proud of yourself. I watched the Chris and Rachel interview this morning and I was disgusted to say the least. I wanted to chuck my phone across the room. I immediately unfollowed Chris. I can’t believe one of the biggest names of this show said such disrespectful, classless, and disheartening comments. I don’t think he was sincere with his apology at all. He was caught and was trying to save his a**. I can’t comment on Rachael’s apology either. I guess time will tell how serious they truly were. I also listened to the podcast with Rachel and Van. It was remarkable. Rachel is so classy. Just love her.

Anyways, I did have one question for you. Would you ever consider having a fan on the podcast for one episode? You could do some sort of contest or something. I know I’d be down for that!

Thanks Steve!

Comment: The closest I’ll have to having a fan on the show is the one where I do the audio “Reader Emails” and let you guys ask questions. I just don’t think a lot of people would be interested in a podcast where I tweet out who the guest is and 99.9% of the readers don’t immediately know who it is. I just don’t think that’s something I can do for a whole podcast.
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Hey Steve,

Is CH the most common subject line you’re getting in your inbox this week? Is there any chance he’s dunzo after this? Do you think the show would continue without him as the host? Will ABC /Robert Mills speak out on this topic? I’m sure CH has excellent PR reps, but I wonder if there’s any coming back from this, especially with all that Rachel Lindsay has shared in recent days.

Who knows what will happen between now and the time you publish reader emails next week, but this has been an absolute circus of a week for (Toxic) Bachelor Nation.

I really look forward to your thoughts on what might be next for this franchise.

Thanks!

Comment: Well, on Friday I tweeted out that I didn’t know what would happen to Chris, but not to be surprised if he was fired because there has been precedent for this in the media. Now based on his statement, it certainly doesn’t seem like he’s done with the franchise for good. All we know right now is he won’t be at the ATFR. To me, that’s not enough. He has to sit out at LEAST one full season, which means the next “Bachelorette,” which begins filming in about a month. So, we’ll see what happens after that. But Chris can’t say he’s “stepping away for a period of time,” then roll back in a month later to film “Bachelorette.” That wouldn’t look sincere. What could he have possibly learned or bettered about himself in a month?
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Hi Steve

Firstly I want to applaud Ashley and yourself for your thought-provoking IG Live last week. As a fellow white privileged person, I am also deeply uncomfortable talking about racism and I understand the bravery involved in approaching such a topic. I thought that both of you gave a fantastic insight into the issue from a white person’s POV and both made efforts to educate yourselves and present a thoughtful response. It is a fine line to walk and I thought you did it well.

As an Australian 40 something woman, I have seen the world evolve significantly throughout my lifetime – on matters relating to racism, gender equality, the LQBTQI community, the #Timesup and #MeToo movements and more. This obviously has a significant impact on one’s own journey. What was perfectly acceptable behaviour in the 80s or even 90s or early 2000s is simply not now. Many of us had grandparents or even parents who were guilty of indirect (or direct) racism and this obviously colours one’s upbringing to some extent. My grandparents, for example, would use derogatory terms for other nationalities, not realising they were offensive as this was simply ‘what they were called’. Pre-internet, it was very easy to remain in a state of ignorance as we were simply only able to access a certain level of information. We were a naïve world and many of us simply believed what we were taught.

To compound the issue, Australian history has been whitewashed (no pun intended) to bury our injustices towards the Indigenous community and many of these atrocities are only recently coming to light.

Whilst I like to think that I never condoned racism, I don’t think there’s many people my age who can truly look at themselves and find themselves blameless of racist behaviour, direct or indirect. We simply didn’t have IG or Twitter to capture our sins and haunt us.

Your comment from Taylor Nolan’s podcast that people were either racist or anti-racist (which I haven’t yet listened to but will) has given me food for thought. Do I do enough to be considered anti-racist or am I still part of the problem for remaining on the sidelines? I tend to avoid any entering into any charged issues such as these as I have always been afraid that my ‘white privilege’ doesn’t give me the right to have a voice in the matter. But is remaining silent making me complicit? I personally will be doing a whole lot more to educate myself to make sure I am part of the solution. There are always people that are gonna do more, so you can’t compare yourselves to them. All you can do is educate yourself enough to know why you may believe some of the things you do. Was it from school? Family? Friends? And then reassess how you want to be better. Speak out when you hear something? Start having uncomfortable conversations with people you know are pretty much racist? Read more anti-racist books? Read more/watch more books/movies from black authors/directors. There’s a lot you can do, but definitely don’t start comparing yourself to others and how they are expressing it. Do what you feel comfortable with.

Also as an Australian, I didn’t really understand the true implications of the Southern Belle pictures of Rachael (our history lessons cover the civil war in about two paragraphs – north battles south to eradicate slavery, north wins). I thank you for educating me on this as it is too easy to think its just pretty girls in pretty dresses for those of us who live outside the US. Hell, no worries there. Most people in the US don’t see the issue either. Just read the mentions under my tweet. Way more people found a way to excuse than those who didn’t.

As for Rachael, I felt her long-awaited statement was sincere and probably one of the better apologies I have ever read. I truly hope her future actions will have her learn and grow as a human. I found it interesting that you tweeted that she was listening to the wrong people, and then the statement came out not long after. I was of the understanding that the show was contractually prohibiting her from speaking until your tweet. Yep. 10x better than Chris’ initial apology. But it’s only Step 1. She has a loooooooong way to go to win people over. And she’s never going to win everybody over, no matter what she does. She can only try and be better and hope that people see that.

As for Chris Harrison – d’oh!! His response to the furore just highlights how deeply entrenched white privilege culture is on the show and how much work is still to be done.

Do you think in light of all this that Katie is still a lock for The Bachelorette or may they switch to a BIPOC contestant as another bandaid solution? I don’t see Katie anymore from what I’m hearing. The last week has thrown everything upside down.

Thanks again to you and Ashley for your IG Live. Usually your podcasts and IGs are like junk food for my soul (and I mean that in a good way) however days later I am still thinking about this one, and I also mean that in a good way! It reminds us all that our actions speak louder than our words and that we cannot remain passive.

Comment: Really good seeing emails like this where people are starting to realize that, yeah, race talk is not comfortable. At all. Especially if you’re white, because we all come from a place of privilege.
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Hi Steve,

Been reading more of the responses on your tweets and I don’t know how you do it. If my going off on people is too much I will unfollow and just check your timeline here and there.

Thank you for being vocal about it and I am confused. First you were “hating on Tayshia” for the same types of jokes you made about the show you do with anyone and now you need to shut up because you are standing up to racism. I am literally dumbfounded at this shit. I don’t know how you do what you do and just wanted to say thanks again and really don’t know how you do it.

If you haven’t watched the Rach L podcast today the Chris H interview and apology were even more troubling based on what happened after the Extra interview…

Take care and apologies for all the notifications from me in the past 2 days

Comment: People who say I singled out Tayshia this season have no idea what they’re talking about. I didn’t say anything different about her that I haven’t said about numerous contestants in the past. It’s bizarre how they’re fixated on it, but then again, look who it’s coming from. I rest my case.
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Hi Steve,

Long time reader, first time emailer. I was curious what your thoughts are on the responses and group statements coming from current and former contestants.

Quite a few of these cast members are continually seen traveling and blatantly partying maskless. They want to appear as though they care about BIPOC, or feel like they have to, but their flippant attitudes and immaturity convey that they don’t care about our society, or people in general.

I realize the topics are not mutually exclusive, but how can people claim they support BIPOC, but not take the virus that is killing members of their community at a disproportionately higher rate to white people, more seriously?

Comment: No they aren’t mutually exclusive. Look, many contestants in BN don’t care about COVID. That’s been proven time and time again. Even plenty of Matt’s women don’t. But I wouldn’t lump that in with whether they care about BIPOC. I think it’s different.

As for the statements a lot of them have released in regards to Chris, I’d say take each one on a case by case basis. Because some are actually well thought out and you can tell they care. Others? Not so much. I don’t think I need to point out who those are. It’s quite obvious they thought to themselves, “Shit, I’m a big name in this franchise. I gotta say something, but I’m completely uneducated on this. Let me look at all the other statements, and while not plagiarize what they wrote, do enough re-sentencing and include key words and phrases so it’ll seem like I care.”
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Steve,

Why would Rachael would go on a show with the first black bachelor with so much clear evidence of inappropriate pictures on her social media? Did she not realize there was a problem? From what I’ve gathered, no. She wasn’t a fan of the show. She was nominated. Went through the process, watched a couple episodes, but was completely oblivious to the magnitude of Toxic Bachelor Nation. That’s definitely a question I hope she gets asked.

How about the vetting from the Bachelor franchise? It is hard to believe they looked and found nothing because the pictures were so plentiful. Did they not look at all? Is it possible that they saw the pictures and allowed her to come on the show anyway in the hope that it would cause controversy (similar to what happened to Lee on Rachel Lindsay’s season)? I do not believe this was a set up. Neither does Rachel Lindsay, and she’s someone who admitted she believes Lee was cast on her season. Not that it’s an excuse, but none of the things posted about Rachael Kirkconnell were on her own pages. It’s people that had these pics who posted them. Her Old South formal pics were not on her page. Her like of her friends with the confederate flag wasn’t on her page. The Maddy story has way too many holes in it to make it 100% believable. So this wasn’t a situation like Lee where all you had to do was look at the guys Twitter account and see what he’d written.

Do you think Chris Harrison will stick around as long as the franchise does? You have said in the past that you think he has this job as long as he wants it. Have you changed your mind?

Comment: Well yeah. I couldn’t predict he’d do a 13 minute interview laced in racism and basically torpedo his career with this show.
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Hi Steve,

Thank you for your work and I hope you had a nice weekend!

I’m curious if you know anything about what the franchise has done behind the scenes to meet their “commitment to diversity.” In her podcast with Van, Rachel L. mentioned that a diversity consultant was hired (I assume to conduct trainings?). In a post on IG, Bachelor Diversity Campaign mentioned new crew/production hirings. The actions to meet this commitment are not transparent, so I’m curious to what (if any) rumblings you’ve heard. Apologies if you’ve already covered this — Google is saturated with this right now.

Clearly something isn’t working. Hiring new and diverse talent, only to expose them to a working environment with Chris is .. problematic to say the least. The same goes for casting BIPOC women, but then forcing them to live in close quarters with unvetted racists.

Thanks,

Comment: That’s exactly why someone from higher up on this show needs to address the situation. Still no one has and it’s embarrassing. Whatever they think they did this offseason once they made their pledge to better clearly didn’t work. Robert Mills needs to come out and lay out a plan and details going forward on how they’re changing and getting better.
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You went from bring funny and entertaining to becoming a voice for cancel culture. I’m done listening to you or following you. It is unfortunate what is happening in our country today. Not EVERYTHING is rooted in racism.

Comment: Cool. Thanks. And you’re right. Not everything is rooted in racism. But this story 100% is, and if you can’t see that, well, then you have blinders on.
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Hi Steve!

Quick question- when the girls say things like “we’ve been here 6 weeks…” are they actually there for that long? No right? So they’re always prompted to say a certain time frame?

Comment: What they are told to say on the show is episodes = weeks. So if you’re watching episode 6, they will say 6 weeks. But no, that’s not how long they’ve been there. The whole season (especially this one during COVID) was only 6 weeks long total. A normal season is around 7-8 weeks of filming.
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I read your comments about Chris Harrison and that he should be fired.

You and all these crazy confused children who participate in this program should be ashamed of yourself!

Soon you will all be pleading for grace and unfortunately for all of you who have made your fame and more income than you deserve through this Bachelor franchise you will be cancelled!

No one deserves it more! Especially Rachel Lindsay! You are all so woke that you destroyed yourselves!

Chris Harrison will survive and rise above this trash but I believe that you will crash and burn!

Grow up!

Comment: I don’t grow up, I shut up. And when I see your face I throw up.
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Hello Steve,

Long time reader of your website first time emailing. I listened to your IG live with Ashley Spivey. I also heard the Extra interview with Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay. I was disgusted by his words and that was a horrible interview with him constantly speaking over Rachel and not letting her talk. And of course the defending obviously racist behavior. My question is Rachel mentioned her contract with the franchise and how once that is over she is done. Do you know what exactly is in the contact? Why can’t she be done now and what is she still saying she has to do for them? What are her obligations to the franchise? Thanks for all your hard work, love the spoilers and they are really the only reason I watch the show anymore!

Comment: Rachel isn’t referring to her “Bachelorette” contract. It’s her Bachelor Happy Hour podcast she’s referring to. She reiterated again yesterday I believe then when that thing is over, she’s probably done. I don’t know when it ends though.
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Hi Steve.

After your post on Tuesday I was thinking about reforms the franchise can make. In your opinion, what’s stopping producers from letting the audience choose the lead for each season? They tweet asking people who they want but its clear that’s all for show. The photo dump pre filming in recent seasons proves they can see viewer commentary.

This seems like an obvious reform they can make.
Thank you for your work!

Comment: I don’t think that’s a good idea. Why? Because this fan base, as evidenced by a majority of the responses to what Chris did on social media, is white and has similar views to Chris. Translation: racist. Maybe not overt racists, but I’m telling you, this last week has been eye opening in how many people don’t see a thing wrong with what Chris said and aren’t the least bit shy to tell you about it. Hell, you’ve seen a couple of those emails today. So you want this fan base to choose every season? Then you’re getting a white guy and white girl every season. Not good.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Nahu

    February 17, 2021 at 9:18 AM

    The Bachelor hasn’t been doing well in ratings all season long. For the first time in years, Fox’s 9-1-1 pulled more viewers than The Bachelor and was tied in the 25-54 key demo. Colton and Peter had 1.9 in key demo and pulled 1 million more viewers than Matt.

  2. justsaying

    February 17, 2021 at 11:03 AM

    What is Steve going to do if the franchise is canceled

  3. fishbelt

    February 17, 2021 at 5:26 PM

    @just saying – podcasts about old 90210 episodes. He has always had a vendetta against Chris Harrison since he started this website, so, what comes around, goes around.

  4. mgb970

    February 20, 2021 at 6:55 PM

    @just saying

    > if the franchise is canceled

    Probably time for that. It’s no longer about love. Being there for the “right reasons” now means not screwing up getting insta-famous. Ever conversation on race the franchise gets wrong.

    It’s just an effing train wreck at this point. The franchise needs to be put down mercifully.

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