The cancellation of Rachael Kirkconnell on Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor” has been the focus of the entire season, with social justice warriors using the contestant as an opportunity to showcase modern-day racism and its evils. The bullying that caused the tragic departure of a different contestant, however, has been completely disregarded by the show and many viewers.
We’re all getting pretty used to cancel culture at this point, but many viewers of ABC’s “The Bachelor” were rightfully stunned when front-runner Kirkconnell was nearly canceled because photos of her resurfaced attending an “Old South” party at her alma mater, the University of Georgia, where guests dressed in antebellum-era clothing.
Longtime host of the franchise Chris Harrison did not appear in the last episode of the season after he asked for “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” for the girl getting excoriated online. Kirkconnell has since been ruthlessly attacked on social media, and her face is now forever attached to a racial controversy.
The internet, cancel culture, and the show’s producers didn’t hesitate to make an example of Kirkconnell. The franchise not only denounced her but also gave Harrison the boot, announcing that two former bachelorettes would be taking over hosting on the show’s next season while Harrison takes a leave of absence to pursue his “path to anti-racism.”
The story was not the same with contestant Sarah Trott, however. About halfway through the season, Trott made a dramatic exit. After getting one of the first highly-sought-after one-on-one dates with the bachelor, she was at the receiving end of ruthless and blatant bullying from the other contestants. “Your living situation here is going to be horrible,” one contestant told her before shortly going on her own one-on-one date with James.
Overwhelmed from the bullying and worried about her terminally ill father back home, Trott made a tearful exit. Although she told James about the bullying accusations of multiple women, he did not immediately address the situation nor seem to be too concerned about the accusations.
While there was some pushback from viewers about the bullying Trott endured, it was not nearly as vitriolic or powerful as the response Kirkconnell received for wearing an antebellum-period dress. The franchise did not remove the bullies from the show, as it did its longtime host, and it continued normally.
Herein lies the problem: There is perhaps no better sign of a person’s character than how they treat other people. Wearing a dress that some deem offensive is one thing, but how have we gotten so tangled up in the narrative of social justice that we allow toxicity and bullying to exist on top-ranked national shows?
Politics is now how we judge other people’s character, not how they treat their fellow humans. The social pressure of one narrative, the narrative of the left on social issues, has caused us to forget about the importance of treating each other with basic respect and human decency. Although many on the left would argue we’re moving toward a better, anti-racist and anti-hatred society, in the most important and basic foundation of society, we’re regressing.
It seems adults need to revisit the simple lesson many of us learned in elementary school: Treat others as you want to be treated. Until we do that, we’re not making real progress.