Now that the dust has somewhat settled after the conclusion of Matt James' season of The Bachelor, the season 25 star has a few things to say about the controversies that unfolded off-camera. Namely, he had some words regarding Chris Harrison's defense of his ex-girlfriend and season "winner," Rachael Kirkconnell.
On The Ringer’s Bill Simmons Podcast on March 19, James said that watching Harrison's problematic interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay felt like "an alternate reality" and didn't seem real. "It was sad to hear that because I’d had so many conversations about how I was feeling, what I was going through, and that crazy process that I was in," he said. "And, it’s hard to imagine that he could really sympathize with what I was feeling."
However James does believe that Harrison — who, following the backlash from his comments apologized and is taking a hiatus from the show — should not have to leave the show for good. "Chris has outlined in his statement that he’s committed to putting in the work," he said. "He’s taken a step back, so I respect that. And, I hope that he does. I don’t think anybody should be trying to cancel him. We should be calling him in to do that work that he’s outlined that he wants to do. He’s taken a step back to commit to doing that, so I look forward to seeing him do that.”
Some Bachelor alums and many fans don't quite agree, and feel that the host should at least commit to "stepping aside" for an extended period of time, but it seems Harrison plans a relatively swift return. I am a'n imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that," Harrison said in a March 4 interview with Good Morning America. "I believe that mistake doesn't reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise."
When it comes to his ex, however, James continues to distance himself from her. "I don’t think that anyone’s irredeemable," he said when Simmons asked if there's a chance they'd get back together. "And, I think that for Rachael, there’s a lot that we didn’t discuss that we probably should’ve talked about. I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions. I’m giving her that space to do that. And, in the meantime, I’m working on myself. I’m not going to be dating."