Rachel Lindsay calls for Emmanuel Acho to host 'After the Final Rose' for Matt James' 'The Bachelor' season
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2021
Rachel Lindsay has revealed she'd prefer to have sports analyst Emmanuel Acho host The Bachelor: After the Final Rose instead of taking on the role herself after Chris Harrison decided to step aside from the franchise amid controversy.
A source recently told Us Weekly that ABC and Warner Bros. offered Rachel -- who starred asThe Bachelorette's first lead of color on Season 13 -- the After the Final Rose hosting role for Matt James' season after Chris stepped aside.
Rachel reportedly pushed for the After the Final Rose special to include a bigger conversation about racism in the franchise as she mulled over the possibility of accepting the position.
But Rachel apparently wants to defer the opportunity to Emmanuel, a former NFL linebacker who created a book and videos titled Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, and her husband Bryan Abasolo agrees.
"For ATFR, Bryan and I both talked about this -- we think Emmanuel Acho would be fantastic," Rachel toldPeople.
"[He's] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, 'I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.' Who better to lead it? [He's] someone who's not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias -- I think it'd be great."
And Bryan, who won Rachel's heart on The Bachelorette's thirteenth season, added, "I echo those sentiments."
"I think Emmanuel Acho would be the perfect person to have those uncomfortable conversations with the contestants, with Matt at the end of the day, and I think it would really be a positive step forward," Bryan told the magazine.
Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone revealed in a February 23 blog posting thatThe Bachelor: After the Final Rose special for Matt's season will not air live next month and is instead filming this upcoming weekend in Los Angeles, CA.
The hosting issue for the special will therefore be resolved within the next few days.
"Before you ask, as of now, I don't know who will be hosting. Nor do I know what they plan on doing, what the format will be, etc," Carbone wrote of the special.
"And whoever hosts the ATFR, does that mean they're the new host when The Bachelorette starts up filming next month? We don't know that either."
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While Rachel suggested Emmanuel would be a great fill-in host for After the Final Rose, she clarified that she's not thinking about a permanent replacement for Chris, who has hosted The Bachelor since it premiered in 2002 as well as its many spinoffs.
"I don't want to think long-term, because I only want to take what's been given to us. Chris said he's stepping aside for ATFR, and that's as far as I want to take it because that's what he said," Rachel told People.
"They said he's going to take the time to learn and understand what happened. I'm going to just stay within that."
Chris came under fire for his controversial Extra interview with Rachel earlier this month in which he had dismissed the severity of The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell being photographed at a plantation-themed "Old South" fraternity party at Georgia College & State University in 2018 and liking insensitive content on Instagram, such as a friend standing in front of a house displaying the Confederate flag.
Chris noted The Bachelor's historic 25th season "should not be marred or overshadowed" by his "mistakes" that he intends to learn and grow from on a "profound and productive level."
Not only are members of Bachelor Nation disappointed and upset with Chris for using terms such as "the woke police" and saying backlash against Rachael was "unbelievably alarming," but tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition calling ABC to fire Chris completely.
An Us Weekly insider claims ABC has had "conversations" about editing Chris out of the remaining episodes of Matt's The Bachelor season and The Women Tell All, which were already filmed.
"If not, they may add a disclaimer at the top of the remaining episodes," the insider revealed.
But Rachel proudly told People that she must acknowledge "progress made" so far.
"Last summer, I was saying that I was going to step away if there wasn't a lead of color, if changes weren't made, and then the Bachelor Diversity Campaign came together, which was amazing," Rachel recalled.
"Those are fans wanting to see certain things changed within the franchise. They had a list of bullet points, and we've seen some of those things happen. We've seen a diversity consultant. We've seen two leads of color. We've seen an apology from the franchise, acknowledging that they've been on the wrong side of it."
"It would be wrong for me to deny that there has been some progress," she continued, "but in light of what's recently happened, we see that the work is not done... I think that's obvious to everyone... We've got to keep going."
Rachel said she loves seeing The Bachelor contestants -- past and current -- coming together and issuing statements saying "what they don't stand for and what they're not going to tolerate."
Rachel also noted it was nice to see Matt put out a statement considering Rachael is currently among his Final 3 bachelorettes heading into Fantasy Suite dates on The Bachelor's 25th season.
Matt released a statement Monday on Instagram in which he called the past few weeks "some of the most challenging" of his life and expressed how Chris and Rachael's recent actions have been "devastating" and "heartbreaking."
"We haven't seen anything like this before, where people are coming together in large numbers to say what they want to see change," Rachel said.
"I think a lot of people wanted to hear from Matt, and they did. I think he hit every single point within his statement and even told us that there's more to come. He's got more to say. I'm like everybody else. What is it? I can't wait."
In Chris's controversial Extra interview, he had asked Bachelor Nation "to have a little grace, a little understanding [and] a little compassion" for Rachael, who had been subjected to heavy backlash ever since The Bachelordebuted its 25th season in early January.
"Because I have seen some stuff online -- this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl's life apart and diving into her parents and her parents' voting record. It's unbelievably alarming to watch this," Chris told Rachel at the time.
Chris therefore released a more extensive apology February 13 and wrote on Instagram, "I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke."
He added, "By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong. To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you."
"At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist," Rachael wrote on Instagram.
"I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one's responsibility to educate me. I am learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist."