Media personality Rachel Lindsay, who was “The Bachelor” franchise’s first-ever Black lead in 2017, has deleted her Instagram account due to harassment and hate she has received from fans of the show.
The online harassment follows Lindsay’s “Extra” interview with “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison, during which he defended current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who has been under fire for resurfaced photos of her in attendance at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal. After apologizing, Harrison then announced that he is “stepping aside” from the franchise for “a period of time,” causing some fans to direct hateful comments toward Lindsay.
On Friday, Lindsay’s “Higher Learning” podcast co-host Van Lathan released an Instagram clip confirming that Lindsay has deactivated her account and condemning the attacks.
“My co-host on ‘Higher Learning,’ Rachel Lindsay, disabled her Instagram earlier today,” Lathan said. “She did it because that’s how much hate she’s getting from Bachelor fans, who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say.”
In his video, Lathan said that people should “get a f—— life” and are misdirecting their anger at Lindsay, when they should be outraged at Harrison for his defense of Kirkconnell.
“Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can’t read the room in these present 2021 times,” he said. “She’s not responsible for that. It’s not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn’t understand what the f— triggers people in today’s world.”
Representatives for Lindsay and Harrison did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
Former contestants of the franchise have been sharing their support of Lindsay following her disengagement on social media.
“The Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” alum Nicole Lopez-Alvar wrote, “Rachel Lindsay didn’t get Chris Harrison fired. He did that.”
Rachel Lindsay didn’t get Chris Harrison fired. He did that. It’s unfair how the burden of ABC’s inability to create brand with a culture of inclusion, diversity, and nonracial bias has had to fall on her shoulders. I stand with her. Everything needs to change. Let’s go, Bachelor
— Nicole Lopez-Alvar (@nicolelovar) February 27, 2021
Another member of the franchise, Alexis Waters, chimed in with: “If you don’t like her or her opinions, KEEP F—— SCROLLING… BULLYING SOMEONE IS NOT THE ANSWER.”