Woah baby. I wrote a blog a little while ago, Thoughts From A Black Bachelor Fan, basically giving my perspective on Rachael Kirkwhatever Her Name is and Chris Harrison’s reaction to the controversy.
Last night was the finale of Matt’s season of the Bachelor, ending with him and Rachael getting together, but not engaged. Hindsight is always 2020 and clearly Matt should have picked Michelle, but we knew what was up well after the non-proposal was filmed.
If you’re new to Bachelor Nation, every season, after the final rose is given out, there is an after show – appropriately titled After the Final Rose – where Chris Harrison talks with the final 2 men/women, the Bachelor/Bachelorette, and the men and women that aren’t given the final rose kind of get to give their two cents on the finale and get some closure with the lead. It’s always a little uncomfortable, you’re watching someone talk to the ex for the first time in probably months, but this year was a new level of uncomfortable.
Due to Chris Harrison’s poor reaction to the Rachael situation, he was not longer gong to host ATFR. We now can almost 100% confirm that his reaction was due to the fact that he knew Matt was going to pick Rachael at the end. Does this excuse his comments? Absolutely not, but it does explain them. Someone as media trained as Chris Harrison, with a gig as great as his, would know how to easily stay in his lane, but his reaction was most likely a terrible attempt to get America to like Rachael knowing that Matt picked her in the end. Chris’ replacement, Emmanuel Acho, former NFL player, current NFL analyst, took over the hosting gig, and for all things considered did a fantastic job. I personally thought he was very robotic, but calling football games is a lot different than having to dissect a potentially racist woman in front of her black ex boyfriend. It’s a tough job, and for that I give him kudos.
Rachael’s presence was what I expected. She acknowledged her wrongdoings for the most part, claimed she was doing the work to better herself, it was an iPhone notes apology in real time. Honestly, I have no words for her. I’m just so fucking grateful that I will never have to hear from this bitch ever fucking again. She can live a completely mundane and average life and never be in the public eye ever again.
What I hated about this entire thing was the fact that Matt had to deal with it at all. I talked about it in my last blog, but the fact that the producers put him in this situation to begin with is absurd, but then for them to force him to sit in front of her, and ask him about their relationship and if he’d ever forgive her/get back together with. Yeah, this is part of signing up for The Bachelor, but what isn’t part of signing up for the Bachelor, or what shouldn’t be at least, is being confront with racial insensitivity and straight up trauma. Matt had to sit on the couch with someone who, as he mentions several times, simply does not sympathize with or understand the Black experience, and this all could’ve been easily avoided with a simple social media check before casting.
Something that stood out to me about Matt is that because this was his first time on reality TV, he very much had normal reactions to things on ATFR. As in, he simply sat there in silence while he tried to find the words to respond to Rachael. I think a different Bachelor would have tried to fill dead air, or bullshitted around the subject until they came up with their point. Watching Rachael having to sit and stew and wait for a response was simply magical.
With Michelle being one of the next Bachelorettes, the franchise is going to have to work their fucking asses off to make sure this shit doesn’t happen again. That means hiring more Black and POC producers, and conducting the most basic of social media checks. I cannot emphasize enough how absurd it is that fans could find the pictures of Rachael but producers and casting didn’t? Or they found it and didn’t think it was an issue, which is again, why more POC is needed on the other side of the camera. We can beg and plead for diverse casting, but diverse casting is nothing without diverse production. A diverse cast without diverse production is in danger. I mean that fully. What Matt had to go through is not something any POC or Bachelor/Bachelorette should have to do. It’s 100% preventable.
And just so you’re aware, Matt’s dismissal of Rachael was 100% justified, and needs no explanation. Black people are allowed to say they won’t date you because of your past. It is NOT the same as white people only wanting to date white people. It’s for our fucking safety and mental health. We risk trauma, both physical and emotional.
In the end, the Bachelor Producers are 100% to blame for this, let me say it again for the people in the back, PREVENTABLE situation. It is their duty to keep the lead and the contestants safe and healthy throughout the process, and their lack of due diligence put every single POC and Black person cast this season in danger. I hope Michelle’s season is much smoother and more enjoyable for both her, the cast, and the viewers.