Rachel Lindsay is addressing the uncomfortable feelings she had while watching Monday night's episode of The Bachelor when Matt James confronted his father about their past in an emotional chat.
Appearing as a guest on Monday's episode of the Bachelor Party podcast, the former Bachelorette started off by saying she had been "taking a break from all Bachelor talk" to "protect [her] peace of mind," but made an exception for the topic of Matt and his father, of which she pointed out the racial stereotypes she saw with the conversation.
"I felt it in my soul and I had to speak out about because I am so disturbed at what I just watched take place on The Bachelor stage — the conversation between Matt and his father," Lindsay, 35, told podcast host Juliet Litman.
Matt's dad, Manny, paid a visit to Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania to talk to his son during the episode, where the two discussed Manny's past transgressions, including infidelity in his relationship with Matt's mom and walking out on his family that also included Matt's brother.
"What's the one thing we know about [Matt's] dad? That he wasn't around," Lindsay said. "That's all we know which, if you know anything about stereotypes that are assigned to particular races — here, the Black race — you know that absentee fathers is a stereotype."
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The Bachelor: Matt James Confronts His Dad, Makes "Hardest Decision" During Fantasy Suite Week
Lindsay went on to note that the story is also "one of the few things we know about Matt," who is down to his final two women after this week's Fantasy Suites episode.
"We know that Matt has not been able to open up and to fully express himself in these relationships because he still has to get over the hurdle of confronting his father about the fact that he was not around when [Matt] was growing up," she said. "And Matt can't get to the next level until he has this conversation. That's how this has been presented to us."
After Matt's conversation with his dad — which ended with the two embracing and acknowledging their mutual respect and love — aired on the ABC series, the Bachelor tweeted, "Tonight's convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it's just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me."
"Too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media. And they have consequences when presented without context," Matt continued, sharing a link to an article about the topic from The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab.
He concluded, "All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play. I'm so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I'm so proud of my mother. I wouldn't be who I am without my dad. That's a fact."
Lindsay, who recently returned to Instagram a little over a week after deactivating her account, also discussed on Litman's podcast how the exchange with Matt's father impacted his three Fantasy Suite dates this week, as well as a deeper problem she feels still exists within Bachelor Nation amid its ongoing racism controversy.
"More drama has been happening off the show than on the show," she said. "I feel really bad for Matt. Whether you like him or dislike him as a Bachelor, the fact that his historic season has been overshadowed with so much negativity and and drama and talked about in an unprecedented way for all the wrong reasons is so bad."
"At this point, it's like, do you have any hope that the franchise is gonna be different? [Or] do you just walk away and say, 'You know what, when are we gonna get another Flavor of Love?' " Lindsay added.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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