The Bachelor is in crisis mode, with executives behind the scenes trying to work out how to save the troubled franchise, says an OK! source, adding that Bachelor Matt James has had enough in light of the recent racial controversies.
"Matt is disgusted with the whole thing. He regrets ever doing the show and wants to cut all ties and walk away," the insider tells OK!. "But he is still under contract and doesn’t want to put himself in legal jeopardy. He is having daily calls with the producers to try and find a solution that gives him an off ramp but, at the same time, doesn’t blow up the show forever."
The source adds that "this is a nightmare and Chris Harrison’s recent comments are not helping."
"Thankfully, Matt didn’t get engaged, but even so, this is a major problem. If the show does survive, there will be big changes," the insider dishes. "The chances of Chris ever returning are getting less and less. The show is imploding behind the scenes.
"For the first ever Black Bachelor to pick a girl with a racist past is a total nightmare for the show. Behind the scenes, lots of finger-pointing is taking place," the source concludes. "The blame game is in full effect as producers scramble from crisis meeting to crisis meeting to determine what they need to do today to save the show tomorrow."
The Bachelor Franchise came under fire earlier this month when alleged photos of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell — who was deemed the frontrunner of the first Black male lead's season — resurfaced of her at a Kappa Alpha Order "Old South" formal, an antebellum plantation-themed ball, in 2018.
Another alleged photo, which was found by a Reddit user, apparently showed her dressed as a Native American. In addition, the 24-year-old also allegedly liked racially insensitive posts on social media.
To make matters worse, Harrison initially defended Kirkconnell and said Bachelor Nation should offer her some "compassion" during an interview with Extra co-host Rachel Lindsay — who was the first Black lead in Bachelor history.
After insinuating that the controversial plantation-themed ball was more acceptable in 2018, as opposed to today in 2021, he apologized to Lindsay and the public before temporarily stepping down as host.
Weeks after drama surrounding The Bachelor made headlines, James finally broke his silence via an Instagram statement and addressed the "incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison."
“The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life," the handsome hunk began his post on Monday, February 23. "It is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming... 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."
James also acknowledged that this situation has pushed him 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."