Clearing the air. Rachel Lindsay took a step back from the Bachelor franchise after she was blamed for Chris Harrison’s exit, but she got real about her experience as the first Black lead, the fallout from her controversial interview with the former host and more in a new sit-down.
The season 13 Bachelorette, 36, explained during the Wednesday, November 3, episode of the “Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo” podcast why she thought it was the right time to speak out. “I almost feel like I have a little PTSD — maybe a lot of PTSD — from the whole incident, and I needed just to take a beat and take some space away from everything and then find the right place to feel like I can have an honest conversation and be myself,” she noted.
Lindsay did not hold back when it came to her current relationship with Harrison, 50. She faced backlash in February after she interviewed the Texas native about Rachael Kirkconnell for Extra. His comments in defense of the Bachelor season 25 contestant, 25, amid allegations of past racially insensitive actions led him to take a temporary break from his hosting duties before leaving permanently in June.
The transition came after years of a strained relationship with the show. Lindsay was a fan favorite during Nick Viall’s season 21 of The Bachelor in 2017 and she became the Bachelorette later that year, but she felt the pressure behind the scenes.
“There were certain things that I was asked, sure, like when it comes to makeup and hair, and I appreciated those things,” she told Ellen Pompeo on Wednesday. “But when it came to telling my story or from my experience as being a Black woman, those things weren’t received in the same way. Like, I remember when I had a breakdown. It just hit me randomly in a moment where I was struggling with my emotions, and I’m looking around the room and no one looks like me and everybody’s a white male except for one female producer, and I’m like, ‘You have no idea what I’m going through. You don’t understand what you’re asking me to do. You don’t understand how you’re telling me, ‘Oh, you can’t go in there and confront them,’’ ‘cause they were telling me that because I would’ve looked like an angry Black woman.”
The disconnect between Lindsay, the people behind the franchise and the viewers seemed insurmountable. “There were just so many things that weren’t receptive to, I guess, what I wanted [and] how I wanted to portray myself, because an audience couldn’t necessarily receive things in that way,” she added.
Scroll through the gallery below for more revelations.