Matt James has returned to Instagram after deactivating his account, but has removed almost all bachelor content from his grid following a racism scandal that enveloped his season.
Now when fans visit Matt’s Instagram page, they are mainly greeted by photos of the star skateboarding, hanging out with friends, and working with his charity, ABC Food Tours.
James, 29, became the first black bachelor in the franchise’s 19-year history, but his time on the series ended in controversy after the woman he eventually picked, Rachael Kirkconnell, attended a plantation-themed party in 2018.
Deleted! Matt James has returned to Instagram after deactivating his account, but has removed almost all bachelor content from his grid amid a racism scandal that enveloped his season.
Shortly after footage of her appeared at the bash, host Chris Harrison defended her – but this resulted in a major backlash, and the longtime host stepped aside from hosting the After The Final Rose special. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams were then brought in to replace him in the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
Despite removing all bachelor-related content, he left his statement on the controversy surrounding Rachael and Chris, alongside a photo of himself skateboarding next to his bachelor billboard.
Matt broke up with his latest rose pick, Rachael, after the racist controversy broke out earlier this year.
The two never got engaged and left the series in a relationship, and Matt was blinded when news started circulating about her controversial past.
Split: The woman James gave his last rose to, Rachael Kirkconnell, was pictured at a plantation themed party in 2018
You want to believe that you know your person better than anyone else knows your person. This controversy swirls around who Rachael is and events she may have attended, photos she liked and people she’s associated with, ” he said on After The Final Rose.
‘I’m trying to be there for her, and I’ve dismissed them as rumors because they were to me. You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray that they are not true. And then when you find out they are it, it just makes you question everything, ‘he added.
He discussed the “weight” of seeing Rachael for the first time on the special, he said Good morning America: ‘It hit me like a lot of stones. I felt the weight of everything I carried with me all season and what we dealt with as a country, and I had to explain that – why I think it’s problematic for me and our relationship – which was extremely difficult. ‘
‘It hit me like a lot of stones’: James described the ‘weight’ of seeing Rachael for the first time on AFTR
Rachael has repeatedly apologized for her actions.
In an Instagram video last month, Rachael responded to the controversy, including photos of her attending the pre-war college party, plus reportedly liking and sharing social media posts featuring the Confederate flag and Qanon conspiracies.
She had previously posted a written statement.
At the beginning of the seven and a half minute video, Rachael said, “The first big step in all of this is for white people to come up and be accountable. Things will never change if we don’t all work together to work for this racial progression and this unity that we want. ‘
Single again: Matt broke up with his latest rose choice, Rachael, after racism controversy erupted earlier this year
Rachael went on to stress the importance of awkward conversations and work to “unlearn” racism.
‘I didn’t know how insulting and racist my actions were, but that’s no excuse for them. My age or when it happened nothing apologizes. They are in no way acceptable or okay. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.
‘Learning never stops. We all need to keep educating ourselves, ‘she said, pointing viewers to anti-racism sources in her Instagram story and bio. She added articles entitled, “How I Confronted the Truth About My Fraternity’s Racist History” and “Why Your Native-Inspired Halloween Costume Devalues Our Native Cultures.”
Aside: Chris Harrison has been replaced by Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams for the next season of The Bachelorette