In early May, Bachelorette Hannah Brown received backlash for saying the n-word while singing along to “Rockstar” by DaBaby on Instagram Live.
People quickly called her out for not actually apologizing, so she gave a statement on her Instagram Story.
But many felt that the apology wasn’t enough, including Rachel Lindsay, who is Bachelor Nation’s only black Bachelorette. In an interview on Bachelor Nick Viall’s podcast, Viall Files, Rachel opened up about how she felt about Hannah’s actions.
“She was admitting she was wrong, and she said she wanted to go on a Live,” said Rachel. “She was going to go first and then bring me on. Twice, she got off the phone with me to tell me, ‘OK, I’m going to go do it. I’m just going to go get ready.’ Hours later, nothing. Then, we would talk on the phone. And then, hours later, nothing again until it was ultimately decided she wanted to do a statement.”
“The reason it disappointed me so much that Hannah decided to give a statement is because—her words—’A statement would be insincere.’ Hannah said that. ‘It felt icky to give a statement,'” said Rachel.
“And I believed her when she said it. And it was her team that was advising her to give a statement. And she said, in her heart, she didn’t feel it was that way, and she felt that god had wanted her to use her platform for a bigger purpose. And she was going to step up and do that. So, to see her ultimately text me and say, ‘I’m going to give a statement’ was extremely disappointing because [Hannah] said that that was insincere.”
Just a warning that the video may be triggering for some, so use caution when watching.
“I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out how I would address everything because I didn’t want it to be at the wrong time, and I wanted it to be at the right time,” she said.
She admitted that she waited because she didn’t want to take up space while Black voices need to be heard in current events. “The death of George Floyd is happening and there’s so much suffering and anger. I didn’t want to offend anybody and I may be offending people right now but I realized it’s not about the right time, it’s about the right thing.”
“I am so lucky to have the platform that I have and I know a lot of people are asking for white people to use their platform and take accountability, and I have some things and responsibilities that I need to take accountability for,” she continued.
“To be honest, I’ve written multiple different apologies of how I thought I was going to do this but in a middle of a run down the road I realized I couldn’t wait any longer,” she confessed, giving a glimpse at her notes to the camera.
“Two weeks ago, while I was on an Instagram Live, I attempted to talk – sing – a popular TikTok dance and I recited the n-word and it was a part of the song. I initially didn’t even know it was happening,” she said.
“I knew that if I wanted [the apology] to be from my sincerest self, I had to put in some work and I had to go through a process,” she added.
“What I did, I don’t want it to go away. What I did was something extremely serious and I did not want to continue repeating this long history of white people not taking accountability and responsibility for their actions when Black people – people of color – call them out on their behavior.”
Hannah ended her video saying, “I will be a part of the solution, and you will see that. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I’m sorry to everyone I hurt and disappointed. I promise to continue doing better, I promise.”
She also shared a statement about confronting racism by activist, artist, and writer Ricardo Levins Morales on Instagram.