Rachael was accused of racist behavior in her past shortly after The Bachelor premiered in January, and Chris came under fire when he defended the bachelorette and asked for grace on her behalf in an Extra interview with the first-ever Black The Bachelorette star, Rachel Lindsay, earlier this month.
Rachael and Chris have since apologized for their actions amid serious backlash, and Chris even decided to "step aside" from his role as The Bachelor host "for a period of time" in attempt to show his remorse.
But The Bachelor fans have been waiting to hear from Matt on the scandal, and Matt finally addressed Rachael's social-media controversy and Chris confessing to "excusing historical racism" in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday.
"The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life, and while there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison," Matt, 29, began in his post.
"The reality is that I'm learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly."
During Chris's controversial interview with Rachel for Extra, Chris had lashed out at "the woke police" and expressed his belief that the public outcry over Rachael's history of racist actions was "unbelievably alarming."
Chris had also dismissed the severity of Rachael 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.
Matt therefore continued in his post, "Chris's failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch."
"As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years," he wrote.
"This moment has sparked critical conversations and reporting, raised important questions, and resulted in inspiring displays of solidarity from The Bachelor nation."
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Matt said on a personal level, recent happenings have "pushed me to reevaluate and process what my experience on The Bachelor represents, not just for me, but for all the contestants of color, especially the Black contestants of this season and seasons past, and for you, the viewers at home."
The Season 25 The Bachelor star concluded in his statement, "I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from me in the end. My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better."
Many members of Bachelor Nation believe Chris temporarily stepping aside from the franchise and not participating in Matt's After the Final Rose special was the right decision -- although not enough.
The Bachelor "Women of Season 25" even posted the same statement on Instagram siding with Rachel and denouncing racism, and tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition to remove Chris from his job.
"To see the contestants come together and speak out and to say what they don't stand for, I don't know how we continue in this way," Rachel reasoned.
"How do you when people of Bachelor Nation are upset, the contestants of this very show, the leads of the show? How does he go on to represent the franchise when people are so upset by what they saw in that interview that we had?"
A source toldUs Weekly on Friday that ABC has had "conversations about somehow cutting Chris from some of the pre-recorded episodes."
The source also reportedly claimed there have been talks about "pushing The Bachelorette back" to give Chris more than just a few weeks away from the franchise before filming resumes.
Following Chris's controversial Extra interview, he first issued an apology on February 10, but Bachelor Nation questioned his sincerity and Rachel even said she had a hard time accepting it.
Chris therefore released a more extensive apology February 13 in which he revealed he'd be removing himself from The Bachelor franchise for a while.
"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," Chris wrote in his second apology.
"I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same."
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.
"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."
Matt first touched upon the allegations against Rachael in early February, when he told Entertainment Tonight that people have to be "very careful" about their social-media activity.
Matt, however, didn't have a negative word to say about Rachael at the time.
"I think a lot of times... you hear something on the Internet and [assume] it's fact. So I would just warn people to be careful about making accusations before someone has had a chance to speak on it," Matt said at the time.