Thanks for considering my email. I have appreciated your recent coverage of events in Bachelor Nation that revolve around race.
Largely, I agree with your opinions about how things are going, which is to say that Rachael Kirkconnell’s past actions were racist, it seems like it could have been better if she had felt able to make a statement sooner, and her apology came across as on the mark and aware that it would take time for opinions about her to change.
I also agree that the interview between Chris and Rachel Lindsay was shocking and included statements by Chris that were hurtful, racist, ignorant, or some combination thereof. His first apology was a bit weak, while his second came across as more thought through. I think stepping aside for a time is a good idea.
What happens in the long run for the franchise is not something I want to address here. What I want to bring up is the open host position for ATFR.
You mentioned Tayshia or Mike. I think those are lovely choices, particularly Tayshia. I also think having cohosts might work well, particularly if one of the hosts has more journalistic experience. Which brings me back to the possibility of Rachel Lindsay. I think Rachel is a talented journalist, but I think it would be a bit off for her to host if the story being told is one of love between Matt and Rachael Kirkconnell. I basically don’t think any host should show up with a preconceived notion that Matt and Rachael K are problematic as a couple. It’s not that they are or are not, it is that I think they should be able to say so on their own. Whatever questions about Rachael‘s actions need to be addressed during ATFR, I would like to see them looked at through the lens of the development of the relationship between Matt and Rachael. What have their discussions about it been like? How do they plan to go forward as a couple, as well as how does Rachael plan to go forward individually?
My main point is that I think what a lot of viewers are interested in is the relationship of the winning couple. I think a lot of viewers are also interested in the discussion of race. So why not bring the topics together to the extent that it is relevant, particularly to the couple, rather than ignore the race discussion OR the fact that these two individuals may very well be in love.
I think at least one way to celebrate BIPOC is to let Matt have a chance to speak his piece and tell his story, and if in any outline of ATFR it comes out that Matt does not want to address race in a thorough way, then maybe there could be a separate discussion about it, as was mentioned, and it doesn’t necessarily have to involve Matt and Rachael K. In that instance only would I see Rachel Lindsay as being a fitting part of the final episode.
Comment: I see what you’re saying, but I think Rachel is capable of having that conversation with Matt and Rachael. We don’t even know if she’s been asked or if she even wants to. She kept her cool with Chris Harrison when he rambled for 13 minutes. I’m guessing she’ll be able to do the same with Matt and Rachael on stage. But I see your concerns. We really have no idea where they’re leaning right now. No one’s reported anything so your guess is as good as mine.
I love reading your weekly recaps, and boy has this last week been eventful.
I found it interesting what you said about the franchise having to reinvent it self after everything that has happened. Not only after the racial issues surfaced but also the amount of bullying that has been seen this season and ppl on social media have been calling out. Something needs to change!
I’ve noticed on instagram that the girls haven’t really been calling out/supporting each other throughout the season in regards to the bullying shown on tv. Was it that bad that they aren’t even friends…or am i missing something? My guess is they were told not to speak on it. Some have taken more slight jabs at others and been way more subtle about it.
Why don’t you see Katie as Bachelorette happening? Perhaps because of everything that has happened and her not wanting to be related to abc anymore…
Well, does anyone want to be affiliated with the franchise at this point? What I was told was Katie was their choice, it’s why she got the edit she did, but then when all this happened, they had to change course and go in a different direction. So I see it being one of Matt’s top finishers at this point. And with filming pushed back a week, I think we can include Michelle in that as a possibility because they wouldn’t have to worry about announcing their Bachelorette before the finale thus ruining any surprise.
I think the ATFR will be interesting, specially bc the WTA was filmed just before this whole chris mess and rachael wasn’t even there.
I would like to see the situation really addressed there with her and Matt on the couch and talk about what they have been going through as a couple these last weeks! And how is Matt feeling?
Anyways, i hope this makes sense what I’m saying (English isn’t my first language).
Comment: Well, now that they’re broken up, that conversation gets even more interesting.
Hey reality Steve,
In regards to Monday night’s episode, do bachelor producers ever tell the cast to stop the bullying when they see it happen? I feel like they’re in a position of power to make it stop. Granted it makes good television, but sometimes it’s just not necessary and cruel.
I found it ironic that the girls were called out for bullying by Katie and then you see some girls like Jessenia and Pieper bullying Heather right when she joined, an episode later. Granted it wasn’t ideal for Heather to join so late in the game, but that should be Matt’s decision. Comments like “who even are you” “go home” “you are a bachelor hopper” are rather unnecessary and unkind.
Comment: To answer your first question, no. They don’t stop it. Ever. If anything they encourage it. As for the second part, yeah, some didn’t handle themselves well at all. It’s a gang up mentality on that show and someone entering that late, yeah, I can see how it’d bother you. But things that were said could’ve been avoided. But that’s the show and they wanted drama. Which they got.
Very much agreed with your post today, esp the suggestion of having Rachel Lindsay host the WTA. My daughter and I think she should host the show just in general, esp now that she has hosting exp with Extra! Probably not going to happen but would be a real slap in the face to CH.
I also really like the suggestion about having a round table discussion about race from POC contestants – that would be super interesting and insightful. I love that idea, I’m glad I thought of it, and I think there’s zero chance of it happening unfortunately. Why? Because it makes too much sense.
Glad to hear Katie may not be next bachelorette! Why, when the majority of the cast for 1st time ever is POC, they are not picking a POC for next bachelorette is beyond me. My personal faves are Michelle, Bri, both Serenas, Jessenia.
This show def needs to change… in all the years I have been watching (since Alex and Trista!!!), this is the only season I’ve watched where the off screen drama is way more interesting than the show, which is getting harder and harder to stomach as I age.
Anywho thx for all your info and insights! Was wondering tho, what are the other things that CH has said/done that are racist?
Comment: There’s a list of them on the @BachDiversity IG account. Should be in their IG feed.
Hey, Steve! I know I’m late for this week’s column, but I just had a quick comment and a question.
First, I wanted to say thank you for not only being on the right side of the current race debate in Bachelor Nation (your lives with Ashley have been really great!) but also for centering the voices of women of color in the discussion. As you talk about it, you keep pointing back to the comments of women like Sharleen, Taylor, and Rachel Lindsey in all this, which I think is really important. I know you’re friends with Sharleen and Taylor, so it may not seem like much, but it’s very apparent that you’re listening to WOC, and you keep redirecting your audience to their content. It’s a subtle thing, but it means a lot. Thanks. Those are the people the audience needs to hear opinions from. We need more POC from the franchise speaking out since they’re the ones being directly affected.
Second, apologies if this has already been asked, but what do you think are the chances of Rachel Lindsey getting Chris Harrison’s job? I know she’s said she’s done with the franchise once her contract is up, but do you think that would change if they approached her with an offer to take over as the face of the show? She’s been the most prominent voice in this whole issue by far, and she’s got plenty of tv hosting experience at this point. It would put her in a powerful position to make the behind-the-scenes changes that folks have been demanding for years, like more producers of color. I could see her saying “hell no” to them, based on all the recent nonsense, but I could also see her doing a great job in the role.
Thanks again for standing up for what’s right in recent weeks. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy. Hope your power stays on and you stay warm!
Comment: I really have no idea. My guess would be no because I don’t think Rachel wants to continue to deal with the hate. In addition, she has 3 other jobs right now. She’d essentially have to take two months off of each one for “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” and then another month for BIP. I doubt she’s gonna want to do that for a franchise that already is testing her patience. Much less the racist fan base that is continually harassing her.
If Dale snd Clare are getting back together, it is only bc he has suffered from so much bad publicity and it’s probably affecting his career, or wanna be career. It will never last and Clare needs to move on. So tired of all these bachelor nation people using whoever they can to advance their careers. So why am I still watching?!?
Comment: I don’t know. You’ll have to answer that for yourself.
This is certainly an email I never expected to type! I’ve read your website for quite a while in indulging my guilty pleasure of the Bachelor franchise (where I come and go as a viewer because it’s just soooo bad it’s good). It’s mostly my being way too impatient to wait through a season to see what happens, and you and your sources are amazing at giving information that allows me to fast-forward through the particularly cringe-worthy parts.
But I’ve never really considered you one way or another as a person, and I want to apologize for that. You’ve revealed yourself in the past few weeks as being an outstanding human. It can’t be easy to take the stands against racism that you do, particularly among what I expect might be a fairly conservative-leaning populace of Bachelor watchers. (Note I’m not criticizing conservatism in general!) I expect you’ve faced some backlash. And as a person so attuned and connected to “Bachelor Nation,” I wouldn’t be surprised if you put some of your access at risk with taking a stand.
So as one of the “silent majority,” I want to commend and thank you for what you’ve been posting. It can’t have been easy but it seems to me like you’ve approached doing what’s right without hesitation. That’s ridiculously admirable. And I know, since I’m not a person of color either, that it’s a little self-congratulatory of us to commend each other for being “woke,” but truly I believe you put a lot on the line to do what you believe is right. That’s more than worthy of an acknowledgement. Thank you so much for that.
Comment: Thanks. I appreciate it. There are definitely haters out there and people rolling their eyes at me. That’s fine. I’m doing what I believe to be right. And it’s emails like this, and many others I had in last weeks column, that shows people are being reached and starting to think outside their box. That’s all I’m trying to ask of people. I know not everyone will. That comes with the territory. But there’s been a lot of positive response.
I’ve only ever emailed you about your annual event that you have here in Las Vegas because I live here, so I guess I’m a first timer.
I’m a black woman who has been watching the Bachelor and it’s spin-offs for years and I’ve been reading your column for years now. I have to really commend you on the IG live you did with Ashley Spivey last week. I specifically want to thank you for being an ally for BIPOC in this franchise as well as for us viewers. Representation matters. You and Ashley did a phenomenal job on discussing anti-racism from a non-BIPOC perspective and I think you guys nailed it. You showed understanding, support, and compassion as well as the ability to see things outside of your white bubble. You also provided resources for your viewers who are really interested in understanding “what the big deal is”, because as you know, most people don’t get it, but I’ve learned that they just don’t want to get it because it is uncomfortable. Imagine how I feel on a daily basis, let alone watching a reality tv show. It honestly gets exhausting.
Anyway, I wanted to suggest another resource that may help you and others understand why the Chris H. and Rachel K. situation is absolutely a big deal and I agree with you in that Chris needs to be fired. So many of your viewers get stuck on “cancel culture”, but it’s not that, as you know.
If you haven’t already, I suggest watching the movie Get Out. It came out a few years ago in 2017 and is written by a black director, Jordan Peele and stars Daniel Kaluuya, who by the way, nailed this role and was nominated for an Oscar (but was snubbed). This movie shows the subtle acts of racism that while people do to BIPOC every day, that they think we don’t know they’re doing. It’s a form of gaslighting to be honest. Jordan Peele has a way of writing his movies in such a way that it makes the viewer really think as opposed to showing experiences that are overt and obvious. I think this movie will help explain how problematic and abusive Chris H. was in his interview with Rachel Lindsay and how as black women especially, we are constantly having to show “grace” when people treat us horribly. I had to watch the movie like 3 times because there were so many things I missed and didn’t pick up on the first couple of times. I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie as it did extremely well as the box office and during awards season in 2018, so you can also check out some reviews as well.
Thank you for being an ally, continue to educate your readers and keep the conversation going. You have come a long way and I hope the work that you’re doing really contributes to the work that we all need to do moving forward.
PS- sending you warm positive vibes from Las Vegas. I hope one day you can resume your Vegas event safely, of course, because I got excited when I received your response that you would consider me for the event, but you said you would let me know since I already live in Las Vegas. ?
Comment: Yes I’ve seen it. So have many Bachelor fans as the memes went crazy last week in anticipation of them thinking Rachael’s hometown would be a scene out of “Get Out.”
The party will be coming back at some point. Probably not 2021, but I would think we’re back up and ready to go in 2022 barring anything crazy happening.
Is it just me or is Wells Adams awfully quiet? Seems he is setting himself up for Harrison’s job
Comment: I don’t know if he’s quiet because that’s what he’s setting himself up for, but, it’s clear that Chris Harrison’s boys are just never going to lay into him for what he said. They’ll denounce racism in general, but they won’t speak on specifics about Chris. Just not gonna happen. And Wells is definitely in that group. Guarantee those two will still golf together in the future. Count on it.
Do you watch the podcast 90210MG?
Comment: I’ve been so bad with this. They’re literally doing a podcast for every episode right? See, I’ll probably wait until they get to college years, since those were the ones I enjoyed more. There’s just so many podcasts non reality TV that I listen to weekly, I really have to want to listen for me to get on board. I’ll wait til they start recapping college.
Sadly for you, if this franchise fails, then you fail. There is no way that Chris Harrison should be fired from his job and there is no way that Rachael Lindsay should have the power to get him fired from his job. I am so happy that people are calling BS on Chris being so racist he needs to lose his job. That is a pile of crap. This franchise knows where their bread is buttered and if Chris is gone, so are more than half the viewers and so are you and Rachael.
Good luck. You will need it
Comment: Thanks man. Appreciate it. Keep reading!