As we prepare for The Bachelor episode 7 to arrive on ABC tonight, there’s no denying the uncomfortable spot the show finds itself in.
Is the majority of its pain self-inflicted? Absolutely. Yet again the series has gotten egg on its face by casting someone with a history of offensive actions — this time, it’s Rachael Kirkconnell. There’s a documented history of controversial social-media likes, and that’s without even getting into the Old South plantation-party pictures that made headlines over the past week. It is the latter that landed Chris Harrison in a firestorm of controversy as he preached “grace” rather than directly condemning Rachael’s actions; both parties have apologized in the past few days, to the point where Chris is stepping away from the After the Final Rose. But, it’s hard to say these words heal anything in the immediate aftermath.
Could production or casting have found a way to identify some of Rachael’s controversial history ahead of time? We know that background-checking 30+ contestants entering a season may be complicated and time-consuming, but it’s clear they need to do more. They have to be aware that in this digital age, offensive behavior will be unearthed while the show is on the air. They need to be proactive.
Because of the situation created by Rachael’s past and Chris Harrison’s present, is there any enthusiasm at all for Monday’s episode? ABC’s official Twitter for the show has been dark for days, and there’s certainly been less in the way of previews/sneak peeks out there. The fact that Rachael is considered a favorite to get the final rose at the end makes the season all the more problematic; this is not someone producers can just edit out of the show. She will be there, and there’s no doubt that Matt James’ love story, which could have been celebrated due to him being the first Black male lead, will suffer under the weight of these terrible incidents. These are ones that show how the franchise is still failing with its treatment of the BIPOC community.
Do you still have enthusiasm at all for Monday’s The Bachelor episode 7?
Be sure to let us know in the comments, and come back around for some other news. (Photo: ABC.)
This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.