This week’s episode of The Bachelor showed Matt James in a painful talk with his father.
Matt’s emotional sit-down with his father included tears more than once as he spoke about a lifetime of hurt feelings.
But Rachel Lindsay is speaking about what a horror this was to witness.
It’s not just that it was sad — it’s that the narrative drove home the worst of racial stereotypes.
On this week’s episode of the Bachelor Party podcast, Rachel Lindsay appeared as a guest.
She reaffirmed that she has been deliberately "taking a break from all Bachelor talk."
After racist backlash, she did so to "protect [her] peace of mind."
But she did make an exception after Matt’s very special on-screen conversation aired to millions of viewers.
"I felt it in my soul and I had to speak out," Rachel expressed.
She spoke out "because I am so disturbed at what I just watched take place on The Bachelor stage."
"What’s the one thing we know about his dad?" Rachel explained. "That he wasn’t around."
"That’s all we know which, if you know anything about stereotypes that are assigned to particular races," she continued.
Rachel specified: "Here, the Black race — you know that absentee fathers is a stereotype."
"We know that Matt has not been able to open up and to fully express himself in these relationships," Rachel noted.
She continued: "because he still has to get over the hurdle of confronting his father."
Rachel noted that Matt wanted to speak to his dad "about the fact that he was not around when [Matt] was growing up."
"And Matt can’t get to the next level until he has this conversation," Rachel concluded.
She acknowledged: "That’s how this has been presented to us."
As Rachel is noting here, reality TV storylines aren’t fake — but can give dangerously oversimplified versions of events.
Lindsay observed that this is yet another case of reality TV (and specifically this franchsie) exploiting people of color for "good TV."
"If the Bachelor franchise has shown us anything," she lamented, "it is that they don’t know to protect people of color."
Rachel sadly acknowledged that "they only know how to exploit them."
"They only know how to mishandle situations when they come to race," Rachel observed.
She explained: "That is what they’ve shown us time and time again."
"This should have never been aired for America to see," Rachel said of the segment with Matt and his dad.
"And for people who will say that we’re exaggerating or making a bigger deal of this," Rachel addressed.
She noted: "This is one of those times where you should just sit and listen to what people who have been stereotyped in this way have to say."
It is always strange to see people who have never been marginalized for their race try to speak over people who have.
"This conversation may have been necessary for Matt," Rachel added.
"Maybe Matt did need this," she acknowledged.
"But this was a conversation that should have been just for Matt," Rachel affirmed, "not for the rest of the world to see."
"More drama has been happening off the show than on the show," Rachel acknowledged.
"I feel really bad for Matt," she expressed.
"Whether you like him or dislike him as a Bachelor," Rachel began.
Rachel lamented "the fact that his historic season has been overshadowed with so much negativity and drama."
"And," she continued, "talked about in an unprecedented way for all the wrong reasons"
Rachel noted that this unfair situation "is so bad."
"At this point, it’s like, do you have any hope that the franchise is going to be different?" Rachel expressed.
"[Or] do you just walk away and say, ‘You know what, when are we going to get another Flavor of Love?’" she added.
Notably, Matt himself also acknowledged that his painful, real moment runs the risk of reinforcing negative stereotypes.
"Tonight’s convo with my dad was hard to experience," Matt tweeted.
"And it’s just as hard to watch all this time later," he expressed, "especially knowing the world is watching with me."
"Too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media," Matt acknowledged.
"And," Matt continued, "they have consequences when presented without context."
He wrote: "All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care, and also an understanding that there are real systemic issues at play."
"I’m so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I’m so proud of my mother," Matt concluded. "I wouldn’t be who I am without my dad. That’s a fact."