James ended up picking Kirkconnell above all the other women on this season of “The Bachelor.” However, he revealed during the “After the Final Rose” special that he had broken up with her following a racism scandal that unfolded off-screen that ultimately resulted in longtime host Chris Harrison stepping down from his role on the show.
Some viewers didn’t take kindly to James’ decision and attacked the first Black Bachelor with racial slurs on social media. Kirkconnell clearly saw the online vitriol being directed at the person, who she still refers to as the love of her life, and decided to make it clear that she does not want that kind of support.
“I am taken aback by what I’ve seen tonight. If you think that attacking a person I care about with racist insults is what I would ever want, you haven’t been listening,” she wrote in her Instagram Story Thursday. “Some of the things I’ve seen being said to and about Matt are repulsive.”
“I respect the decisions that Matt has had to make during this experience,” the reality star continued. “If you are directing hate towards him, please stop. Recognize someone’s humanity and think about the impact your words have.”
During the “After the Final Rose” special, James admitted that the controversy surrounding resurfaced photos of Kirkconnell attending an “Old South” party, a TikTok user accusing her of bullying her in the past for dating a Black man and allegedly liking racist photos — all played a part in his decision to end things. The scandal also indirectly led to longtime host Chris Harrison stepping aside as host.
“If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that,” he said at the time.