Rachel Lindsay Genuinely “Feels Lighter” After Disabling Her Instagram Account Because Of Bachelor-Related Harassment

Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images.
In the aftermath of Rachel Lindsay's explosive Extra interview with Chris Harrison, many fans of Bachelor Nation have rallied together to call out the show’s problematic tendencies and support the former Bachelorette, who has spent many years discussing the need for diversity on the show. But the responses weren’t all positive; some fans took it in a different direction, choosing to bombard Lindsay with so much hate online that she had to temporarily shutter her Instagram account. Days later, the reality star is speaking up about the aftermath of the targeted harassment and calling The Bachelor out for its lack of solidarity in these tough times.
After sitting down with Lindsay to address Rachael Kirkconnell's alleged racist behavior, Harrison found himself at the center of a serious conversation about The Bachelor's problematic history. Lighting the ire of the fandom by taking up for the season 25 contestant, the host decided to temporarily step aside from the show. That caused his supporters to turn against Lindsay, spamming the former Bachelorette with negativity, insults, and even threats on her Instagram. So she just disabled it indefinitely.
"It was the best decision that I could do for myself to detach from that negativity," Lindsay explained on a new episode of the Higher Learning podcast with co-host Van Lathan. "I needed that. I feel so much better. I'm not 100 percent, but I feel lighter."
Although disengaging from Instagram has been helpful for her peace of mind, Lindsay is still unsettled, especially by The Bachelor's overwhelming lack of concern about the culture of harassment towards people of color in the franchise. In the years since she became the show's first Black lead — and nonwhite lead at that — Lindsay has experience unconceivable amounts of online abuse, and The Bachelor hasn't done its part to protect her. In this case specifically, the podcaster shared that she was disappointed by the executives' slow response to harassment she's been facing.
"Everyone who's been at issue has issued an apology except for the franchise, except for the network, except for the production company. You need to hear something from them," Rachel clarified on Higher Learning, "They need to come out and say something. They need to grab ahold of this and control the situation because right now, you're letting your fans speak for you."
"You did this, so you need to speak out and you need to say something," she continued passionately. "You need to undo it. And, at the moment, they're silent."
The Bachelor did issue an official statement, calling the harassment "unacceptable," but it feels a little hollow after everything that has transpired over the course of the past several week; the trolls are still at it, and Lindsay still doesn't feel safe enough to reactivate her Instagram account any time soon. The safety and emotional well-being of its contestants should be The Bachelor's number one priority, which means that they should be going harder to condemn the abuse that's been happening online for years now — or at least have a fraction of the energy that Lathan had on Instagram when his co-host and friend first deactivated her account.
“Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can’t read the room in these present 2021 times,” Lathan explained in his video post. “She’s not responsible for that. It’s not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn’t understand what the fuck triggers people in today’s world.”
Lindsay has since announced that her last remaining legal tie to The Bachelor via her Bachelor Happy Hour podcast has officially been severed, so this might really be the end of that professional relationship. And after everything that she's been through, I don't blame her for walking away for good.

More from Pop Culture

R29 Original Series