Racism Rears Its Ugly Head In ‘The Bachelor’

Lily Heddinghaus, Staff Writer

I had so much hope for this season of “The Bachelor.”

Season 25. The first Black bachelor. The most diverse group of women to date. Yet all of the good was overshadowed by one racist contestant and one ignorant host.

The racist contestant is Rachael Kirkconnell, and the ignorant host is Chris Harrison.

Kirkconnell is one of the final two women competing for the bachelor’s heart, but I would like to state that no one is rooting for her.

The controversy began when a woman who attended high school with Kirkconnel posted a TikTok exposing her for “bullying her for dating Black guys in high school,” which is rather ironic considering she is dating the first Black bachelor.

Then the internet trolls dug up other offensive posts. Her college photos resurfaced on social media revealing multiple instances of cultural appropriation and blatant racism: Native American costumes, mariachi band costumes and even an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal.

Harrison faced questions about Kirkconnell’s racist photos in an interview with a former contestant of “The Bachelor,” and he didn’t just blow it off. He defended her actions.

“I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that’s it,” Harrison said.

The party was three years ago at an antebellum-themed party, but OK. He also added that it was a different time, and everyone attended parties like that in 2018. In fact, “50 million people did that in 2018.”

Chris Harrison must have experienced a different 2018 than the rest of us.

But like any other public figure stuck in a scandal, Harrison posted a half-hearted apology on social media and thanked everyone who held him accountable. Kirkconnell did the same.

After that, previous bachelors, bachelorettes and contestants took to social media to express their disappointment in Harrison and the producers, and Harrison stepped down as host. Just like he should.

Now Bachelor Nation collectively holds its breath waiting for the season finale on March 15.

I think Harrison choked in the interview because he knows Kirkconnell is the winner. He wouldn’t have defended Kirkconnell if she wasn’t important. Harrison was worried fans would think his winner was racist.

So, instead of apologizing for Kirkconnell’s insufficient background check that didn’t catch her racist posts, Harrison said the posts weren’t worth talking about. That couldn’t be further from the truth—we need to talk about racism.

It just doesn’t sit right with me.

Harrison cares more about the show’s reputation than the show’s racism.