Well, Matt James’ season of The Bachelor may have just begun, but it seems that its already encountered its first scandal.
If you caught Matt’s first episode, you may have noticed that he seemed to hit off with Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer originally from Cumming, Georgia.
Now, a shocking accusation has been leveled against Rachael by someone who claims to have been victimized by her actions.
We probably don’t need to tell you that Matt is the first Black Bachelor, and he seems well-suited for the pressures that come with such a responsibility.
Matt clearly intends to keep the focus on his search for love, but he demonstrated in his debut episode that he won’t shy away from discussions about what it means to be a person of color in America in 2021.
Which is one reason that the allegations against Rachael could have a major impact on Matt’s future, as well as the future of the Bachelor franchise.
Shortly after the conclusion of the season premiere, a TikTok user named Maddy Bierster posted the above screenshot of Rachael, along with a caption reading:
“Remember when you bullied me in high school for liking black guys???”
In response to the allegation, several other users commented that they felt that there was something suspicious about Kirkconnell from her first moments on camera.
“Isn’t this the girl who was spouting that ‘I acknowledge all colors, love is love’ BS in the season preview???” wrote one commenter.
“I knew that didn’t sit right with me for a reason!”
We should note that at this time, there’s been no evidence confirming the claims about Rachael’s alleged history of racially-motivated harassment.
Kirkconnell herself has not responded to the claims, but as Bachelor Nation expert Reality Steve Carbone points out, her contract likely prohibits her from speaking out at this time.
“Think it’s all fun and games and IG shilling being a contestant on this show?” he tweeted this week, alongside a link to Bierster’s post.
“Not necessarily when anyone from your past can throw out accusations and you won’t be able to defend yourself for a while.”
Contestants are generally barred from commenting on anything related to the show until well after the season comes to an end.
That means Matt won’t also won’t be commenting on this matter anytime soon.
The show’s producers have also remained silent, but we expect they’re currently looking into the matter.
At this point, we’d like to issue a spoiler alert, as we’ll be discussing predictions regarding the outcome of Matt’s season:
Based on intel from production insiders, Reality Steve has concluded that Kirkconnell receives Matt’s final rose.
So it’s possible that he and Rachel were lying in bed together when this allegation came to light.
Needless to say, that some of the most intense drama surrounding James’ time on the show will take place off-camera.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.