Great news, Rachel Lindsay fans!
Our girl is back on social media!
If you’ve been following the absolute mess that has been Bachelor Nation in the past few weeks, then you know that things have been bad.
Like really, horrifically bad.
The Bachelor franchise has had a problem with racism for a long, long time — all the way back in 2012, a lawsuit for racial discrimination was filed against producers by two Black men who claimed they were turned away from the show because of their race.
The lawsuit wasn’t successful, but still, it’s clear there’s some issue there, considering that we’re currently on season 25 of the show and the star, Matt James, is the first Black Bachelor.
The Bachelorette, meanwhile, has had 16 seasons with 17 Bachelorettes, and two of those ladies have been Black — Tayshia Adams from last season and of course, the franchise’s first Black lead ever, season 13’s Rachel Lindsay.
So yeah, you could say there hasn’t been a huge amount of diversity on the show, right?
Back in January, racism became a huge topic of discussion for the show when a contestant on the current season, Rachael Kirkconnell, was accused of having quite a history of saying and doing some very questionable things.
For example, she was accused of bullying a classmate in high school for “liking Black guys,” and she also attended an Antebellum party on an actual plantation — a party hosted by a fraternity that’s widely rumored to be extremely racist.
Since all that came out, Rachael has apologized for everything and promised to do better, and many people feel that her apology was sincere.
But there was a brief period the time that the allegations came out and when Rachael apologized — and during that time, Chris Harrison, the host of the show, really messed up.
He did an interview with Rachel Lindsay, who also works as a correspondent for Extra, and said a lot of things that a lot of people did not appreciate.
His main message was that we should wait until Rachael spoke before passing judgment, but in expressing that, he made Rachael the victim in the situation.
Chris excused her actions, even as Rachel tried to explain why they were inappropriate, and continually referred to the “woke police,” which just seemed to be an insulting way to refer to the people offended by her actions.
And as he admitted in the apology he posted to Instagram after the interview, “By excusing historical racism, I defended it.”
He said he was “ashamed” of how he behaved during the interview and that he’d be “stepping aside for a period of time,” and although we don’t know how long he’ll be away from the show, he did confirm that he wouldn’t be hosting the After the Final Rose special.
After all that happened, a strange thing took place in the Bachelor fandom.
Some fans applauded his apology, others scoffed at it, but a considerable amount of people decided that somehow, some way, all of this was Rachel Lindsay’s fault.
She quickly began receiving a massive amount of hate — really just an unbelievable amount of backlash for conducting that interview.
So much that last week, she deactivated her Instagram account.
We can’t imagine what she must have been dealing with, but a few stars from the franchise, including her husband, Bryan Abasolo, and Rachael Kirkconnell herself, asked fans of the show to leave her alone.
Things were so bad that the producers of the show made the same request, as did Chris a few days ago during his Good Morning America interview.
Since she deactivated her Instagram, Rachel hasn’t been silent.
But today, she came back to social media — and she had a great message to share.
Rachel posted a pretty photo of a bouquet of sunflowers, and along with it a quote:
“I want to be like a sunflower so that even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight.”
That’s nice, isn’t it?
What’s also nice is that instead of all the hate that’s been coming her way for the past few weeks, she’s gotten tons and tons of support.
Chelsea Vaughn from this season of The Bachelor commented with “So happy to have you back, hoping you are feeling refreshed and loved.”
Pieper James, also from this season, wrote “Welcome back queen. All love and positive energy.”
Emily Maynard, a fellow former Bachelorette, simply commented with a series of heart emojis.
A quick scroll through the comments on Rachel’s post saw lots of similar messages, and thankfully, nothing negative.
Hopefully things stay that way and she’s able to continue to inspire fans without so much undeserved criticism.
Are you on Team Rachel?