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Bachelor fans take to social media to blast Matt James for choosing Rachael amid racism controversy


Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnell to be his partner (but opted not to propose) during the finale of The Bachelor on Monday night and fans were not too pleased after her racially insensitive photos were released on social media.

Fans of the show – who are referred to as Bachelor Nation – expressed their furor over 29-year-old James’ decision to pursue a relationship with 24-year-old Krikconnell before revealing that they had ultimately split. 

Last month Kirkconnell apologized as she responded to the controversy, which includes photos of her attending the antebellum-themed college party, plus allegedly liking and sharing social media posts with the Confederate flag and Qanon conspiracies.

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No happy ending: Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnell to be his partner (but opted not to propose) during the finale of The Bachelor on Monday night and fans were not too pleased after her racially insensitive photos were released on social media

No happy ending: Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnell to be his partner (but opted not to propose) during the finale of The Bachelor on Monday night and fans were not too pleased after her racially insensitive photos were released on social media

Uh oh: Photos surfaced of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party in 2018 as well as a history of liking photos with the Confederate flag among other controversies

Uh oh: Photos surfaced of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party in 2018 as well as a history of liking photos with the Confederate flag among other controversies

Taking a stand: Fans of the show - who are referred to as Bachelor Nation - expressed their furor over 29-year-old James' decision to pursue a relationship with 24-year-old Krikconnell before revealing that they had ultimately split

Taking a stand: Fans of the show – who are referred to as Bachelor Nation – expressed their furor over 29-year-old James’ decision to pursue a relationship with 24-year-old Krikconnell before revealing that they had ultimately split

She also had apologized on the After The Final Rose special which aired on Monday night following The Bachelor finale, however, viewers had already took to Twitter to express their distaste for James’ decision.

One fan was not pleased with James choosing Kirkconnell over semi-finalist Bri Springs who was eliminated in last week’s episode and even brought up the big controversy writing: ‘me screaming because matt chose a RACIST over BRI #Bachelor’

Another fan reacted during the After The Rose Special as they posted a photo of Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons saying ‘I’m in danger.’

Torn apart: James said relationship was well and truly over after racially insensitive photos of Kirkconnell were released on social media

Torn apart: James said relationship was well and truly over after racially insensitive photos of Kirkconnell were released on social media

Tense: Several fans expressed displeasure with the After The Rose special

Tense: Several fans expressed displeasure with the After The Rose special

Hard times: At one point during the interview show, Matt began crying and Kirkconnell put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him

Hard times: At one point during the interview show, Matt began crying and Kirkconnell put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him

'Me watching Rachael put her hand on Matt’s shoulder to comfort him #Bachelor #AfterTheFinalRose #TheBachelor': A Twitter user posted a photo of Oprah putting out her hands and turning away from the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview last week

 ‘Me watching Rachael put her hand on Matt’s shoulder to comfort him #Bachelor #AfterTheFinalRose #TheBachelor’: A Twitter user posted a photo of Oprah putting out her hands and turning away from the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview last week

They captioned it: ‘Rachael walking out knowing damn well we’re gonna question those racist a** photos: #TheBachelor #Bachelor’

 At one point during the interview show, Matt began crying and Kirkconnell put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him.

A Twitter user posted a photo of Oprah putting out her hands and turning away from the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview last week with the caption: ‘Me watching Rachael put her hand on Matt’s shoulder to comfort him #Bachelor #AfterTheFinalRose #TheBachelor’

Earlier in the night James had eliminated Michelle Young in order to be with Kirkconnell and many fans were not happy about that decision.

Heartbroken: Some fans were not pleased with James choosing Kirkconnell over semi-finalist Bri Springs who was eliminated in last week's episode

Heartbroken: Some fans were not pleased with James choosing Kirkconnell over semi-finalist Bri Springs who was eliminated in last week’s episode 

One fan wrote: 'me screaming because matt chose a RACIST over BRI #Bachelor'

One fan wrote: ‘me screaming because matt chose a RACIST over BRI #Bachelor’

One fan wrote: ‘you know who would understand that going to an Antebellum party is wrong? Michelle. #TheBachelor’ 

Michelle was interviewed on the aftershow and during James and Kirkconnell’s interview a fan tweeted a .GIF of Oprah shrugging with the caption:  ‘Michelle back stage like: #Bachelor #AfterTheFinalRose #nhbpodcast’

During the After The Rose special, James revealed that he had split with in light of the racism controversy.

 ‘We’re not together,’ James said. ‘It’s heartbreaking. If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that… You know what was a long time ago? Plantations.’

Sad: Earlier in the night James had eliminated Michelle Young in order to be with Kirkconnell and many fans were not happy about that decision

Sad: Earlier in the night James had eliminated Michelle Young in order to be with Kirkconnell and many fans were not happy about that decision

Former flames: Michelle joined Matt during the After The Rose special

Former flames: Michelle joined Matt during the After The Rose special

One fan wrote: 'you know who would understand that going to an Antebellum party is wrong? Michelle. #TheBachelor'

One fan wrote: ‘you know who would understand that going to an Antebellum party is wrong? Michelle. #TheBachelor’

‘You wanna believe that you know your person better than anybody else knows your person. This controversy swirling around who Rachael is and events she might’ve attended, pictures that she liked and people that she’s associated with.

‘I’m trying to be there for her, and I dismissed them as rumors, because that’s what they were to me. You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they’re not true. And then, when you find out that they are it just makes you question everything,’ he added.

James explained that Kirkconnell acknowledged she had more to learn about racial equality.

‘I wasn’t okay because it was in that moment and the conversation that I had that—Rachael might not understand what it means to be black in America.’

James explained that Rachael acknowledged she had more to learn about racial equality

James explained that Rachael acknowledged she had more to learn about racial equality

Franklin hand: Many fans were frustrated with the way Matt had handled the situation

Franklin hand: Many fans were frustrated with the way Matt had handled the situation

He told her that he ‘couldn’t move forward with their relationship’, and said that it was ‘heartbreaking’ to say goodbye to her.

James said that the controversy – ‘including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison’ – has been ‘devastating and heartbreaking, to put it bluntly.

She had previously posted a written statement in addition to an Instagram video where she responded to the controversy.

Viewers to the show referred to at being in Bachelor Nation, were not happy at James' choice with many feeling he should have proposed to Michelle.

Viewers to the show referred to at being in Bachelor Nation, were not happy at James’ choice with many feeling he should have proposed to Michelle.

At the start of the seven-and-a-half minute video, Kirkconnell said: ‘The first big step in all of this is white people stepping up and taking accountability. Things will never change if we don’t all work together in working towards this racial progress and this unity that we want.’

Kirkconnell went on to emphasize the importance of having uncomfortable conversations and putting in the work to ‘unlearn’ racism.

‘I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison stepped aside last month following his defense of current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and her racially insensitive past that included resurfaced photos from a plantation themed fraternity party

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison stepped aside last month following his defense of current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and her racially insensitive past that included resurfaced photos from a plantation themed fraternity party

Emmanuel Acho hosted After The Final Rose on Monday night after the usual host, Chris Harrison temporarily exited production of the how after he defended Kirkconnell's social media behavior

Emmanuel Acho hosted After The Final Rose on Monday night after the usual host, Chris Harrison temporarily exited production of the how after he defended Kirkconnell’s social media behavior 

‘The learning never stops. We all need to continue to educate ourselves,’ she said, pointing viewers to antiracism resources in her Instagram Story and bio. She included articles titled, ‘How I confronted the truth about my fraternity’s racist history’ and ‘Why your native-inspired Halloween costume devalues our Indigenous cultures.’

Earlier on Monday night’s show, viewers saw James make a break from tradition in deciding not to propose to the graphic designer, despite saying he was ‘in love’ with her.

When it came time for him to pop the question, James explained that he was more concerned with their life together than a rushed engagement.

‘Everything that I came here looking for, I found with you,’ he told the Cumming, Georgia, native. ‘But I’ve seen what rushing into a proposal and marriage can do in my family, and it’s ugly. It’s not something that I want for you. Or for us. That’s why I can’t propose to you today.

With one day left before the proposal, James met with jeweler Neil Lane and picked out a pear-shaped diamond

With one day left before the proposal, James met with jeweler Neil Lane and picked out a pear-shaped diamond

James and Kirkconnell then rode off together in a white, horse-drawn carriage

James and Kirkconnell then rode off together in a white, horse-drawn carriage



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