Former Bachelor & BIP Star Says She’s Done Watching the Show

Bachelor in Paradise

ABC Bachelor in Paradise.

Following Bachelor host Chris Harrison‘s controversial comments about a current contestant on the reality dating show, one Bachelor in Paradise alum says she will “no longer be watching” the franchise.

On Thursday, Katie Morton, who starred as a contestant on both The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise spoke out in response to Harrison’s interview with former Bachelorette (and first Black lead for the franchise) Rachel Lindsay. Harrison received backlash from Bachelor Nation fans and alums after he refrained from speaking out against accusations that contestant Rachael Kirkconnell engaged in controversial behavior, including allegations that she attended an “Old South Ball” in 2018.

In an Instagram story statement entitled “Current events in Bachelor Nation,” Morton began by writing, “The interview has been brought to my attention recently. I usually don’t know what’s happening until late because my feed is muted and filtered from most BN things since my time on BIO. However, it doesn’t make me any less disappointed in the recent events just because I don’t speak out immediately. I’ve got the ICK with the franchise, but most of you probably knew that. I have watched Matt James season occasionally only to see how they would share the first Black male lead and a lead who has never been on another season.”

Continuing, she voiced her support for Lindsay as well as current Bachelor lead Matt James. Morton wrote, “I’m praying for Matt at this time as well as Rachel. Rachel held her fxcking composure while she was in a pretty shit position. Chris Harrison was so so wrong and I hope he can see that, although doubtful. It’s all disappointing and maddening. & Tbh I didn’t know what was happening with this Rachael because I just don’t keep up. It’s sad. It reminds me of all the tone dead wedding invites I’ve gotten to Nottaway Plantation. Just because ‘it’s so pretty.’ It’s time for people to understand, sympathize, and stop allowing racism to live on and even worse, be celebrated.”

In a second slide, Morton revealed that she had made the decision to separate herself from the franchise. Morton wrote, “I know so many of you are following me from BN and I love and adore you all. But I will no longer be watching. I know it’s time to truly let go of this show. I love my friends I’ve made from it but I don’t feel like watching it anymore. I found I wanted to support Matt and be a good co-host to a few podcasts. But I have no pods left and no desire to support the show right now and probably won’t know about any other current events.”

Harrison Released a Statement Apologizing for His Interview Comments With Lindsay

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Fans of the franchise were angered by Harrison’s response when Lindsay asked him about Kirkconnell in an interview for ExtraTV. In his initial response, Harrison remarked, “First and foremost, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. I have seen some stuff online, again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart… Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this… I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago that’s it.”

Later, he added, “I don’t think the show needs to speak before Rachel does. I don’t think that’s fair.” He said that although he intends to question Kirkconnell about it once he has the opportunity, in the meantime, “I respect her enough to allow her the courtesy of time and she can speak on her own.”

After receiving backlash, including calls from some for Harrison to be fired, Harrison published an apology on Instagram. In a post, Harrison wrote, “To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”

In 2020, Lindsay Said She Would Stop Working With the Franchise if Things Didn’t Change to Improve Diversity

Before Morton’s announcement that she would no longer be watching or engaging with Bachelor shows, Lindsay made a similar threat in 2020 in response to the franchise’s lack of diversity.

In June, Lindsay told Us Weekly that she was thinking about ending her work with the show unless real change was made to improve its diversity, saying, “I can’t. I have to see some type of change. It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point, it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it.” Shortly after, Matt James was announced as the franchise’s first Black male lead.

Lindsay also took the opportunity to comment on how the show avoids issues related to race, telling Us Weekly, “It bothers me that certain things have happened that we just say, ‘Oh, hush hush,’ and ‘Let’s just move on past it.’ No! We need to acknowledge it, because what you’re doing is perpetuating this type of behavior, you’re continuing to.”

New episodes of The Bachelor season 25 air on Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

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