Rachael Kirkconnell Says She's "Done Hiding" in New Video Addressing The Bachelor Controversy

In footage posted on Feb. 25, The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell told fans to stop defending her over controversial pics that surfaced online.

By Ryan Gajewski Feb 26, 2021 9:08 AMTags
Watch: Matt James Addresses Recent Bachelor Nation Controversies

The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell is speaking out about the continuing controversy surrounding her.

Rachael, who is currently competing for Matt James' final rose, posted a lengthy video to Instagram on Thursday, Feb. 25, in which she shared her latest thoughts on the response to photos of herself that surfaced on Reddit. This follows a previous statement she had released on Feb. 11 to apologize for her actions.

"I just wanted to come on here and say a few things," she said in the new video. "I've gotten a lot of people asking me, 'Well, what have you done to change since then?' And I've also had a lot of people message me saying that they aren't understanding why people are so upset, but they want to, and they've asked for resources, which I think is great. But then there's also people that's messaging me saying, 'You've done nothing wrong, don't listen to people.' I'm just, I'm tired of getting all of this and not saying anything."

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She said she believes that the first step toward progress is "white people stepping up and taking accountability, and you know things will never change if we don't all work together in working towards this racial progress and this unity that we want."

Rachael shared links to anti-racism resources she has found helpful and said she chooses to see this situation as a "blessing in disguise because maybe it can wake a lot of people up, and maybe it already has started to." She also asked fans to stop defending her or saying she didn't do anything wrong.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Georgia native apologized again and said she hopes she can earn the public's forgiveness. She added, "I'm done waiting around for the time to speak, and I'm done hiding from all of this."

Her message is a response to viral pics of her attending a fraternity event in 2018, which a Redditor described as an "Antebellum plantation themed ball."

On Feb. 22, Matt issued a statement in which he referred to the photos of Rachael as "incredibly disappointing" and said the situation "has been devastating and heartbreaking."

Chris Harrison initially defended Rachael in an interview with Rachel Lindsay on Feb. 9 before later apologizing and acknowledging that what he said "perpetuates racism." On Feb. 13, the franchise host announced he is temporarily "stepping aside" from his involvement in the dating series. 

Watch a brand new episode of For Real: The Story of Reality TV Thursday at 9 p.m., only on E!