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    HomeEntertainmentMatt James slams 'Bachelor,' not 'playing games' with Rachael

    Matt James slams ‘Bachelor,’ not ‘playing games’ with Rachael

    Matt James claimed in an explosive new interview that he and Rachael Kirkconnell are still together because they refuse to play “games” like other “Bachelor” stars.

    “My relationship had been made into a sideshow, a complete circus,” James, 30, told the Los Angeles Times Thursday, referring to Kirkconnell, 25, facing racism accusations while his season of the ABC reality show aired in early 2021.

    “Rachael and I have moved on. We’re one of the only couples from that franchise still going strong,” he continued. “The reason is we’re going at things at our own pace. We’re not playing games that a lot of people play just to stay in that circle.”

    Kirkconnell, who won Season 25, faced major backlash after photos of her dressed for an antebellum plantation-themed party in college resurfaced on social media. She later apologized, admitted she “was wrong.”

    Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell hugging on "The Bachelor."
    Kirkconnell found herself in hot water after photos of her celebrating the Old South resurfaced during James’ season.
    ABC via Getty Images

    James, who was the first black “Bachelor,” claimed in his LA Times profile that the franchise did not make a “concerted effort to take part in that conversation when it was at its height.”

    “That opportunity was lost because everyone was afraid and sitting on their hands,” he continued. “I understand it, but that’s the kind of thing that happens when you bring people of color into your space. If they’re not willing to have that conversation, they should strongly consider not going there in the first place.”

    Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James holding hands on "The Bachelor."
    James claimed “Bachelor” producers were “afraid” to have meaningful conversations with him.
    ABC via Getty Images

    The “First Impressions” author also blamed editing for viewers finding him “boring” and saying he had “no personality,” claiming producers had cut out more significant conversations he had with the women about his life.

    “When that didn’t come across on the show, it looked like I lacked substance, I lacked depth,” he told the newspaper. “We had the opportunity to have those tough conversations, but the show missed the mark.”

    Matt James holding Rachael Kirkconnell in a cave.
    The couple initially broke up over the controversy, but they eventually found their way back to each other.
    mattjames919/Instagram

    James summed up his time on “The Bachelor” by saying he found someone he loved “despite the show, which is hilarious.”

    The lovebirds broke up after the show but reconciled soon after and still appear to be going strong, with James currently tagging along to a British Virgin Islands vacation with Kirkconnell’s inner circle.

    ABC did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment.

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