The 24-year-old Kirkconnell has come under fire for participating in an antebellum plantation-themed ball in 2018 and for apparently liking posts containing the Confederate flag and sharing QAnon conspiracy theories. Her "racist" actions were notable since she's vying for the first Black Bachelor, Matt James. On Thursday, Kirkconnell apologized via Instagram. "I'm here to say I was wrong. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist," she wrote, adding: "At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them." Meanwhile, 25 of James' contestants who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color issued a statement in response to host Chris Harrison saying Kirkconnell should be given "grace" for her past racist actions -- comments he made to former Bachelorette and Extra correspondent Rachel Lindsay that he later apologized for. "We are the women of Bachelor Season 25," said the statement. "Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized. Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with 'grace' for individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise. Just because she is speaking the loudest, doesn't mean she is alone. We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her."
TOPICS: Rachael Kirkconnell, ABC, The Bachelor, Chris Harrison, Rachel Lindsay, Reality TV