On Monday night, Matt James sent home four women and settled on the remaining suitors with whom he’ll be going on upcoming hometown dates.
He often conferred during the episode with host Chris Harrison.
Which may have struck some viewers at odd because… wait… didn’t Harrison announce on Saturday that he’s taking a leave of absence from The Bachelor?
The short answer is yes, Harrison did confirm this shocking news over the weekend.
However, Season 25 finished filming many months ago, so he’ll be featured on every installment going forward — except for the After the Final Rose special.
Harrison felt compelled to step back from the franchise because he garnered a great deal of backlash for his reaction to some scandalous social media posts from the past of Rachael Kirkconnell.
After images of the strong Season 25 contender emerged that featured her attending a plantation-themed dance, and which also featured her Liking the Confederate Flag, Harrison mostly withheld judgment.
He asked folks for "compassion and grace" when it came to these contrroversial stances and behavior, seemingly ignoring the pain they cause people of color.
Harrison made these comments in an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
So… where does Lindsay stand on Harrison’s announncement?
How does she feel about Harrison leaving his long-time platform as host?
“It was never my intention to see Chris Harrison step aside but it was my intention for others to see and hear this interview,” Lindsay said on Extra on Monday.
"It’s important to further and highlight these discussions.
"The only way to do that is to have these uncomfortable conversations so we can understand the underlying issues and implicit racism that exists within our society.
"When we can learn to recognize implicit and unconscious bias that history of our environments have taught us, then we can challenge one another to be better for ourselves but also for this society."
Lindsay has long been outspoken about The Bachelor’s diversity problem.
She gave a tepid round of applause for the series after it cast Matt James as this season’s lead, but she also made it clear that this only served as a first step.
Rachel wanted to see how the program would tackle the issue of race going forward.
And it’s safe to say it’s receiving a failing grade so far.
"Let’s not label, let’s not cancel, but let’s hold people accountable for their actions," added Lindsay to Extra.
"Let’s set the example in this generation so that we don’t repeat the horrific mistakes from the past and so we can unify and be the change that this country needs to make this society better for the next generation.”
Well said, we think.
Lindsay also believes Harrison is right to walk away.
"Like he said, he needs to take time to get educated and on a profound and productive level to use his word," she said.
"And I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong, and what he said in that interview, and he needs time.
"He’s stepped away to do that."
For how long?
Not very, is our guess.
Harrison will likely just skip this year’s After the Final Rose taping and then be front and center again when Katie Thurston takes over as The Bachelorette.
Lindsay also told Billy Bush that it’s hard for her to "fully accept" Harrison’s apology because it came "after the fact."
"I’m going to need that time and space and compassion that he referenced to really accept the apology, because [Chris wasn’t] apologetic at first," she explained.
"I’m not saying I can’t get there, it’s just, initially, it’s a little tough for me."
Lindsay added that Harrison’s comments were an example of implicit racism.
"Because when you think of racism, you think explicit racism… you think wearing a white hood, you know? Saying things that are derogatory or offensive," she outlined.
"That’s explicit racism, but then there’s implicit racism where you have these unconscious biases and stereotypes and misconceptions of certain groups, and that’s what we were seeing in that interview.
"I think it was a moment for people to recognize what was being said and to learn and grow from it, which is what we’re seeing happen now with Chris."
On Saturday, in Harrison’s second apology announcing his departure, the host/producer wrote that he has "no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke."
This is what he wrote:
"I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.
"To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you."
For the record, meanwhile, Kirkconnell herself has said her past actions were racist.
"At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them," she wrote just over a week ago online.
"My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not ok or acceptable in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."
Kirkconnell then apologized "to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended," and said that she was "ashamed" of her ignorance and hopes to do better in the future.
And she concluded:
"Racial progress and unity are impossible without (white) accountability, and I deserve to be held accountable for my actions.
"I will never grow unless I recognize what I have done is wrong."