The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell has spoken out for the first time since coming under intense criticism for photos that resurfaced online recently, including one that showed the 24-year-old attending an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
In an Instagram post on Thursday night, Kirkconnell apologized. “I was wrong,” she wrote. “I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist. … I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it’s no one’s responsibility to educate me.”
She added, “Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions.”
You can read her entire post below.
Kirkconnell’s comments came hours after The Bachelor host Chris Harrison also issued an apology for comments he made during a recent interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, on Extra, about the photo controversy. In that interview Harrison defended Kirkconnell’s reputation, saying the photos were taken a long time ago and he also spoke out against cancel culture.
Harrison apologized for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.”
Kirkconnell is considered a frontrunner of this season’s The Bachelor.