Kaitlyn was less than pleased about Tino‘s treatment on the show, especially when former castmate Aven Jones was brought on-stage to ask Bachelorette Rachel Recchia if she’d like to “catch up” right in front of Tino.
But the Dancing with the Stars champ was even more direct when sharing her thoughts about Erich Schwer‘s blackface scandal, which, surprisingly, was not mentioned at all during the three-hour season finale — which is odd considering the scandal created when photos surfaced of Rachael Kirkconnel attending an “antebellum plantation-themed ball” in college. Perhaps Rachel’s situation was thought to be somehow “worse,” because she was dating a Black man (Matt James, Season 25’s Bachelor). But racism is racism, no?
Rather than tackling that controversial subject, host Jesse Palmer played it relatively safe by questioning Erich about how his new fiancée Gabby Windey responded to alleged leaked text messages from his ex-girlfriend.
“The show, Erich, and Gabby had a real opportunity to use their voice and acknowledge blackface,” Kaitlyn continued in her post. “I don’t think we needed to read texts from his ex or set up a fake mansion for Zach [Shallcross, the new Bachelor]. I think we needed to continue to evolve and show up with that many people watching. Michelle [Young], myself, and Becca [Kufrin] were all under the impression this would be addressed. It wasn’t and that’s not OK.”
Earlier this month, Erich came under fire after a photo from his high school yearbook showed him wearing blackface and an Afro wig as part of a what he claimed was a Jimi Hendrix costume. The New Jersey native issued a public apology via Instagram on September 8.
“I wholeheartedly apologize for the insensitive photo of me in Blackface from my high school yearbook that has been circulating,” Erich wrote. “What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance. I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior. I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”
Many Bachelor Nation members were surprised that the incident went unmentioned on the season finale. Rachel Lindsay, who was the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette in 2017, slammed the show for ignoring the controversy in favor of the drama with Erich’s ex.
“They really missed the mark on a necessary and important conversation that was initially not conveyed,” Rachel wrote via Instagram, after the episode aired on Tuesday. “This was an opportunity for @Erich_Scwher to put action to his IG post rather than hide behind it. Unfortunately not all of us can hide in the same way when we are so highly offended by it.”
Kaitlyn echoed Rachel’s sentiments with, “Please Bachelor Nation, listen to voices that need to be heard. That deserve to be heard. I don’t want to speak for Michelle, but I know she committed to being the lead with a promise of change. To brush over blackface, and act as if we didn’t have time? What message does that send? Didn’t Rachel Lindsay already show us how important this is?”
TELL US- WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE BLACKFACE ISSUE WASN’T BROUGHT UP AT THE FINALE? DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN COVERED FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO MIGHT NOT KEEP UP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?
[Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images]