‘The Bachelor’: Rachel Lindsay Got Real About Racism on Peter Weber’s ‘Women Tell All’ Episode
Peter Weber’s journey to find love on The Bachelor is soon coming to a close. Season 24 has been quite the rollercoaster of emotion, and that includes the infamous “Women Tell All” episode. But this season’s contestant reunion wasn’t just about the petty drama between cast members. Former Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay joined the “WTA” episode to talk with Bachelor host Chris Harrison about a serious topic: online bullying. Lindsay and Pilot Pete’s contestants discussed how brutal it can be, especially for women of color.
Former contestant on ‘The Bachelor’ Rachel Lindsay appears before the season 24 finale to talk about online harassment and racism
When Lindsay joined Harrison onstage at season 24’s “Women Tell All,” the vibe of the episode turned suddenly serious.
“I’m never at a loss of words, or opinions as we know, but I’m really nervous right now,” Lindsay said. She explained that the issue at hand was something everyone on that stage has dealt with: online bullying, or as she called it, “hate.”
“It’s so unfortunate because people have become so comfortable being mean,” Lindsay lamented. “And meaner than ever on social media.” She also talked about why she wanted to bring it up within the context of a Bachelor episode.
“By not talking about it, I think people feel empowered that they can continue to say certain things to us,” Lindsay said. “If we’re ever going to fix this problem, we have to acknowledge the problem.” Many of the Bachelor contestants nodded along as the reality TV personality spoke.
Lindsay said that upon being offered The Bachelorette, she knew she would face criticism. But, she says: “I wanted to pave the way for women who look like me who hadn’t been represented in this role on the show.” The former bachelorette wasn’t too pleased with the results of her season.
“Sometimes I feel like my efforts are in vain because it seems to just be getting so much worse,” Lindsay explained.
Lindsay and ‘The Bachelor’ 2020 contestants opened up about hate on ‘Women Tell All’ in the age of internet trolls
“You have no idea what it is,” Lindsay told the audience about online harassment. “And the only way I can actually make you feel it is for you to see it.” She argued that best way to drive the point home was to read out actual messages.
Lindsay struggled to get through the vicious comments. Many of the contestants from Weber’s season started to cry as Lindsay read them aloud.
“I’m like, shaking as I’m reading this,” Lindsay said. She also acknowledged how painful it might be to go through these awful messages.
“I know it’s uncomfortable for you to see,” Lindsay told the audience. “Just imagine how uncomfortable it is to get this in your comments and your DMs every day, every week, every month.”
It’s especially cruel, she pointed out, to hate these contestants for things the women can’t control–like the color of their skin.
Afterwards, several of the women, especially the women of color in Pilot Pete’s season of The Bachelor, talked about their painful experiences online.
Tammy Kay Ly said on the episode that she got death threats to her work email. Alexa Caves explained how she got attacked for having natural hair on the show.
Sydney Hightower talked about having to be strong: “because if you don’t, you’re gonna fall apart.” Hightower spoke at length on Weber’s season about the racist bullying she faced growing up in Alabama.
“The wounds from your past are never fully closed,” she said.
Harrison defined these comments not as “criticism,” but as “true hate.”
The ‘Bachelorette’ star shared more about the momentous night on Instagram
Lindsay posted a picture of herself from the Bachelor’s “Women Tell All” episode to Instagram, along with a powerful, emoji-peppered caption.
“Tonight is Women Tell All but it’s also much more than that because we use our platforms for something bigger than us,” Lindsay wrote. “Tonight, we stop ignoring a problem and start acknowledging it.”
The former Bachelorette acknowledged that it was not easy to make this statement on the episode. She described the night as “hard,” “emotional,” and “necessary.”
“Tonight, we challenge you to do and be better,” Lindsay wrote in the caption. “I was proud to be part of that conversation.”
Bachelor Nation responded with massive support for Rachel Lindsay’s message on ‘Women Tell All’
Demi Burnett, a contestant on Colton Underwood’s season and self-crowned queen of Paradise tweeted:
Rachel’s message about online bullying is something to take seriously. It’s one thing to joke around about contestant behavior, however, it is not okay to bully and harass people based off of the way they were born. Listen to her.
Another former star of The Bachelorette, Becca Kufrin, also lifted up Lindsay’s voice.
“Thank you for bringing this to the forefront again,” Kufrin wrote on her Instagram story. “Your voice (and all women’s) is strong and so valued.”
Derek Peth tweeted:
It’s unfortunate, but it would probably be better to be reminded every year of the messages contestants get on #TheBachelor I’ve personally been told to kill myself well over 100x and I can only imagine I’m on the smaller end of that list. None of that should ever happen.
Peth’s fellow Bachelor in Paradise contestant Chris Bukowski replied, “same and I agree.” He continued:
I’d love to share some of the death threats I’ve received on social media along with a death threat letter that was sent to my parents house a few years back. People need to see it to believe it.
And now they have.