Rachel Lindsay is reflecting on Bachelor Nation’s ongoing drama. On the latest episode of “Higher Learning”, Lindsay’s podcast with Van Lathan, the former Bachelorette opened up about deactivating her Instagram account.
Lindsay disabled the social media account last week, amid continuing controversy in the franchise.
The choice came after host Chris Harrison faced criticism for defending “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist actions during an interview with Lindsay. Both Harrison and Kirkconnell have since apologized, with the host announcing that he’s “stepping aside” from the franchise “for a period of time.”
After Harrison’s exit, Lindsay disabled her Instagram account because “Bachelor” fans were “spamming her with all kinds of rude and hateful things,” Lathan previously said in a post defending her.
“I woke up, looked at my phone, one of the first things I saw [was] something negative and I said, ‘You know what? Not today. Not even this weekend,’ and currently still not now because I’m still disabled,” Lindsay explained on “Higher Learning”. “It was the best decision that I could do for myself to detach from that negativity. I needed that. I feel so much better. I’m not 100 percent, but I feel lighter.”
Lindsay went on to thank Lathan for having her back, before questioning where the franchise should go from here.
“What’s the purpose behind it all? What are you trying to accomplish in the things that you’re doing? You’re doing the things that you think I’m doing. People are attacking me because they think that I’m trying to cancel someone, so they’re on a mission to cancel me,” she said. “I’m getting threatened. People are threatening, like, ‘Oh I have this on you. I have this, I’m just waiting till you get back on social to unleash this kind of stuff.'”
“You’re affecting people’s well-being. Where does it end? Where does it stop? Until you take everybody down? That can’t be it,” she continued. “No one’s listening anymore to what people are saying. They’re just so quick to jump on things and to tear people down. And for what? What do you do? Do you just cancel everything and start over?”
During the episode, Lindsay slammed the franchise for not speaking out amid its ongoing racism controversy.
“Everyone who’s been at issue has issued an apology except for the franchise, except for the network, except for the production company. You need to hear something from them,” she said. “… They need to come out and say something. They need to grab ahold of this and control the situation because right now, you’re letting your fans speak for you.”
“This is an audience that you have curated for 15 years until you have the first lead of color: Me. You have built this. These people feel that they had their world and now people of colour are trying to mess it up,” Lindsay continued. “You did this. So you need to speak out and you need to say something. You need to undo it. And, at the moment, they’re silent.”
On Monday evening, the executive producers of the series did release a statement that came out against the online harassment Lindsay has received.
“As Executive Producers of ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise we would like to make it perfectly clear that any harassment directed towards Rachel Lindsay in the aftermath of her interview with Chris Harrison is completely unacceptable,” the statement read. “Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has been subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism. That is totally unacceptable.”
“Rachel has been an incredible advocate for our cast, and we are grateful that she has worked tirelessly towards racial equality and inclusion,” the statement concluded.
Lindsay, whose podcast episode appeared to have been taped prior to the producers’ statement, also advocated for the show to take a break before going into production of “The Bachelorette”.
“You’re going to go into another season, but you still have all these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season? You really haven’t,” she said. “So I think they need to take a beat, figure things out, regroup, and then bring the product back to us in a way where we can all enjoy it like we used to.”
Lindsay did not reveal when or if she plans to return to the podcast. Kufrin, who previously expressed her support for Lindsay on Instagram, addressed the situation at the top of the episode.
“She has been taking on so much in the world of Bachelor Nation and I want to extend my support, my friendship, and just give her a little break. She needs it. She needs some time away,” Kufrin said of Lindsay. “As much as she loves to sit here and do recaps most of the time, she needs to take a break. I’m really trying to support her the best way I can.”
Watch the video below for more on Lindsay.