‘Bachelor’ contestant Rachael Kirkconnell apologizes over racist photo controversy: ‘I am ashamed about my lack of education’

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Rachael Kirkconnell stars in

Rachael Kirkconnell stars in The Bachelor. (Photograph: Instagram)

The Bachelor‘s Rachael Kirkconnell has apologized.

Kirkconnell, who’s a contestant on the present season of the long-running actuality collection, has confronted accusations of racism since final month, when pictures surfaced of her attending a fraternity formal with an antebellum plantation theme in 2018. Across the identical time, a TikToker made an unverified accusation that Kirkconnell had bullied her in highschool for courting a Black man.

Kirkconnell is white, and she or he’s competing for the guts of Matt James, the present’s first ever Black bachelor.

“At one level, I did not acknowledge how offensive and racist my actions had been, however that does not excuse them. My age or when it occurred does not excuse something,” she mentioned in a press release Thursday afternoon. “There will not be acceptable or okay in any sense. I used to be ignorant, however my ignorance was racist. I’m sorry to the communities and people that my actions harmed and offended.”

The 24-year-old mentioned she was “ashamed” of her lack of schooling and that she’s studying. She additionally inspired others to make use of this as a “teachable second” to stop another person from making the identical mistake.

She concluded by saying, “Racial progress and unity are inconceivable with out (white) accountability, and I need to be held accountable for my actions.” As for forgiveness, Kirkconnell mentioned she hopes to earn it along with her actions going ahead.

Simply sooner or later earlier, Bachelor host Chris Harrison issued an apology for having defended Kirkconnell throughout an interview with Rachel Lindsay, who was the primary Black star of The Bachelorette in 2017. When requested concerning the pictures, Harrison initially mentioned folks shouldn’t be so fast to guage Kirkconnell.

“All of us have to have a little bit grace, a little bit understanding, a little bit compassion,” he mentioned. “As a result of I’ve seen some stuff on-line — this decide, jury, executioner factor the place individuals are simply tearing this lady’s life aside and diving into, like, her dad and mom, her dad and mom’ voting file. It is unbelievably alarming to look at this. I have never heard Rachael communicate on this but. Till I truly hear this girl have an opportunity to talk, who am I to say any of this? I noticed an image of her at a sorority occasion 5 years in the past and that is it.”

When Lindsay mentioned the controversial pictures had been “not a great look,” Harrison responded by asking if it was a great look in 2018. Lindsay’s response was that it was “not a great look ever as a result of she’s celebrating the Previous South. If I went to that occasion, what would I symbolize at that occasion?”

Harrison argued, “50 million folks did that in 2018.”

On Wednesday, he mentioned he was sorry for “wrongly talking in a fashion that perpetuates racism.”

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