The executive producers of The Bachelor franchise issued a statement of support for former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, who recently had to delete her Instagram due to toxic, racist bullying.

By Kristen Baldwin
March 01, 2021 at 07:11 PM EST

The producers of The Bachelor franchise are speaking out about toxic, online bullying in Bachelor Nation. On Friday, Rachel Lindsay — the first Black star of The Bachelorette and now a correspondent for EXTRAdeleted her Instagram account due to harassment from fans who are angry that she's called attention to racism in the reality TV dating franchise. "Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has been subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism," said the show's executive producers in a statement.

In a February 9 interview on EXTRA, Lindsay asked Bachelor host Chris Harrison about racially insensitive photos from 2018 featuring contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Harrison later apologized for "excusing historical racism" in that interview, and announced that he would be "stepping aside" from the show temporarily. While Lindsay has not called for the host to be fired, many fans blame her for his temporary removal. The online backlash became so hateful that Lindsay decided to delete her Instagram account on Friday.

ABC and Warner Bros., the studio that produces The Bachelor franchise, has not yet said when or if Harrison will return to the show. He will not appear on the March 15 After the Final Rose special, which will instead be hosted by author Emmanuel Acho.

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Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?

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