The “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” author will preside over the one-hour special for Matt James’ landmark 25th season, stepping in for host Chris Harrison, who is currently on hiatus from the franchise.
“This is the most uncomfortable conversation in the history of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise,” Emmanuel said on “GMA.” “Because it’s not just about relationships, but now it’s about race. We’re intertwining race with relationships on one of the greatest unscripted shows in the history of television.”
The former NFL player will sit down with Matt and his final three women — Rachael Kirkconnell, Michelle Young, and Bri Springs — to discuss the season in depth, as well as cover current events happening within Bachelor Nation. Emmanuel’s conversations will likely touch on Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist social media activity and Chris’ defense of the finalist during a February “Extra” interview with Season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
(Both Rachael Kirkconnell and Chris have shared apologies via Instagram, which you can read here.)
“My initial reaction was, ‘Yikes. That’s not a good look,’” Emmanuel said of resurfaced photos that show Rachael Kirkconnell attending an antebellum-themed “Old South” college party in 2018.
“My secondary reaction was, ‘Everybody pump the brakes’ — because there’s a difference between being racist and racially insensitive or racially ignorant,” he continued. “I believe her photos were racially insensitive and racially ignorant. Racial insensitivity and racial ignorance can play itself out as racism, but it doesn’t necessarily classify someone as racist. Let’s classify this as what it is: racially insensitive and racially ignorant.”
However, Emmanuel added, “Celebrating or reenacting, even if it’s just by attire, an antebellum plantation party or an antebellum plantation festivity is wrong.”
The on-air personality then shared his goal as host of the Season 25 finale special.
“My mission for ‘After the Final Rose’ is very, very, very simple: allow my white brothers and sisters who have watched the show and fell in love with that story to understand that Matt’s love story and his journey of love is different than other journeys of love, particularly because of his complexion and his skin color,” he said. “I really just want to bring forth reconciliation racially as we continue to watch the love story play out.”
Emmanuel — who has a master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of Texas — hosts the popular YouTube show “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” a counterpart to his bestselling book. His groundbreaking online series to drive meaningful dialogue around racial ignorance and insensitivity launched in June 2020 with more than 80 million views to date. The multihyphenate also serves as a Fox Sports analyst and co-hosts FS1’s “Speak for Yourself.”
The “Bachelor: After the Final Rose” special will air Monday, March 15, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC, immediately following the finale of “The Bachelor,” airing at 8 p.m. ET.