Rachel Lindsay has returned to Instagram.
The 35-year-old former “Bachelorette” and attorney reactivated her account a little more than a week after her “Higher Learning” podcast co-host revealed she disabled her Instagram due to all the “hateful” messages she has received from enraged “Bachelor” fans.
RACHEL LINDSAY DISABLED INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT OVER ONLINE HARASSMENT FROM ‘BACHELOR’ FANS, SAYS CO-HOST
Lindsay, a former “Bachelorette” star who regularly commentates on the ABC franchise, interviewed the show’s longtime host Chris Harrison in February on behalf of Extra TV. The interview quickly went viral after fans heard the pair discuss Rachael Kirkconnell, a current “Bachelor” contestant who has been accused of racial insensitivity with photos showing her attending an “Old South” sorority party and more.
Harrison, 49, suggested Kirkconnell should be offered “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” until she spoke about the issue publicly. But, critics reportedly found his response to be dismissive and a perpetuation of racism.
He later issued two separate apologies for his response in the interview and has temporarily stepped away from hosting the remainder of the 25th season of “The Bachelor,” which features the show’s first Black male lead Matt James – a 28-year-old real estate broker and entrepreneur. Harrison’s stepdown allegedly resulted in fans targeting of Lindsay, according to her podcast co-host Van Lathan, 40.
“Rachel Lindsay, disabled her Instagram earlier today,” Lathan said in an Instagram video he shared on Feb. 26. “She did it because that’s how much hate she’s getting from Bachelor fans who are spamming her with all kinds of rude and hateful things to say.”
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Eight days after Lathan’s video, Lindsay returned to Instagram with a photo showing sunflowers in a vase.
“I want to be like a sunflower so that even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight,’” she captioned her post, which references a book from Don S Lane Publishing of the same name.
Lindsay’s post received overwhelming support from fellow “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” stars and other public figures.
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“So happy to have you back, hoping you are feeling refreshed and loved,” wrote Chelsea Vaughn, a season 25 “Bachelor” contestant and fashion model.
Likewise, in Season 6 “Bachelorette” Ali Manno Fedotowsky left a comment that said: “Here for you. Glad you’re back.”
“Love seeing you back here like the ray of sunshine that you are,” remarked Ashley Spivey, a season 15 “Bachelor” contestant and author.
Aside from sharing Sunflowers, Lindsay showed off a mountainous skyline of Los Angeles during a hike in her Instagram Story. She captioned the slow-panning video with “Good vibes only” and a smiley face.
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Before Lindsay’s return to Instagram, producers of the “The Bachelor” took to Twitter to condemn any hate she has received from fans of the series.
“As Executive Producers of The Bachelor Franchise we would like to make it perfectly clear that any harassment directed towards Rachel Lindsay in the aftermath of her interview with Chris Harrison is completely inexcusable,” the Bachelor Nation statement said, which was signed by executive producers.
“Rachel has received an unimaginable amount of hate and has been subjected to severe online bullying, which, more often than not, has been rooted in racism,” the tweet continued. “That is totally unacceptable.”
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Kirkconnell, 24, who is also at the center of the controversy, issued a statement of her own last Saturday that urged fans to not harass Lindsay.
“Rachel Lindsay and other BIPOC have called for myself and others to be held accountable. This is needed, and she does not deserve the hate she is receiving,” Kirkconnell wrote. “Recognize that she along with every person you send hateful messages to, are human. We are real people, and she should not have to disable her account to escape this toxicity.”