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The Daily Beast

Bachelor Matt James Refuses to Hug Racist Rachael Goodbye in Gutting Finale

Craig Sjodin/ABCGoing into Monday night, all eyes in Bachelor Nation were on Emmanuel Acho. The former NFL linebacker, sports analyst, and Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man host stepped in to host the “After the Final Rose” special following Matt James’ Bachelor finale after Chris Harrison temporarily stepped away.For most of this season, ABC and Bachelor producer Warner Bros. have refused to address the racism scandal that’s consumed online conversations about this season. As Acho put it Monday night, “Some of these conversations here tonight might make people a little uncomfortable. They won’t be easy. But my hope is that if we can talk openly and honestly, we can take important steps towards mutual understanding and healing.”Early on this season, Bachelor fans uncovered alarming past behavior from this season’s longtime frontrunner, Rachael Kirkconnell; images showed her “liking” troubling social media posts and wearing offensive costumes. The show did not address the rumors on air—but last month Chris Harrison landed in hot water while defending Rachael’s decision to attend an Old South themed party in 2018 during an Extra TV interview with Rachel Lindsay. Both Rachael and Harrison have apologized, and Harrison is on hiatus from the show; Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, has announced that she will step away from the franchise once her contract is over. Matt chose Rachael as his winner on Monday night, as expected. His mother, Patty James, and brother, John James, each had wonderful meetings with both Rachael and runner-up Michelle Young. (Meaning: Patty cried profusely during both, while Matt’s brother remarked on how much this “journey” appears to have changed him.) But Patty, who raised her sons as a single mother, also warned James to remember that love alone cannot sustain

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