Bachelor Matt James' BIPOC Contestants Say They're 'Disappointed' After Rachael's Apology for Racist Actions

Twenty-five BIPOC contestants on Matt James' season of The Bachelor wrote an open letter condemning the past racist actions of Rachael Kirkconnell.

Kirkconnell has been under fire for old social media posts that have surfaced — including being dressed in Native American attire as a costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed ball. She has since apologized for the behavior. 

In the letter posted on Thursday by several of James' contestants, they began, "We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism."

"Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized," the women continued.

RELATED: The Bachelor's Rachael Kirkconnell Apologizes for Past Racist Actions: 'I Was Wrong'

The group directed their support to the first Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay who had an intense conversation with host Chris Harrison explaining the negative implications of Kirkconnell's actions. 

"Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with 'grace' for individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise. Just because she is speaking the loudest, doesn't mean she is alone. We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her," the statement concluded.

The latter paragraph seemed in reference to Harrison's remarks that Kirkconnell should be given "grace" for her past racist actions. He later apologized for that sentiment. 

RELATED: The Bachelor's Chris Harrison Apologizes for 'Speaking in a Manner That Perpetuates Racism'

Kirkconnell shared a statement in response "to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended" on Thursday.

She admitted her "ignorance was racist" and that "I was wrong."

The Bachelor contestant, who is still on the show, added that at the time, she "didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them."

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"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," she wrote.

Kirkconnell added that she is "learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist, because it's important to speak up in the moment and not after you're called out."

"If you are a person who doesn't understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use them as a teachable moment," she told her followers. 

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