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"The Bachelor" Matt James speaks out about controversy surrounding his season: "Devastating and heartbreaking"

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« My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real institutional change for the better, » he said.
« The Bachelor » star Matt James spoke out on Monday about the of the long-running dating show. James, the first Black bachelor on the franchise in nearly 20 years, said in a statement it has been « devastating and heartbreaking » to learn about « incredibly disappointing » photos of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and subsequent comments made by host Chris Harrison. In his statement, posted on Instagram, James said the past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of his life, and that he, like the audience, is learning about the situations involving Kirkconnell and Harrison in real time. While there are still several episodes in the season left to air, he said « it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming. » Harrison, who has hosted the show since 2002, announced earlier this month he is stepping away from the show for a « period of time. » His announcement came after a controversial interview on « Extra » with the first Black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, in which he defended current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who has been accused of racist acts.

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