Rachel Lindsay spoke out about her break with Bachelor Nation in an interview with New York magazine’s Vulture this week, describing a subset of the franchise’s audience as the “Bachelor Klan” ― a “hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic” group.
In the lengthy interview, published Monday, the 36-year-old Texan talked about her decision to part ways with Bachelor Nation after starring in “The Bachelor” and being the first Black Bachelorette.
Though Lindsay addressed some of her positive moments on set, like when certain producers came to her side and kept potentially unflattering moments of hers off the air, she also called out the fandom of Bachelor Nation as part of why she chose to distance herself from the franchise.
Earlier this year, when Lindsay interviewed former Bachelor Nation host Chris Harrison, he defended “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who’d recently been accused of racism. Kirkconnell had been photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
“The fandom had always had a complicated relationship with me. But it really started to turn against me after that interview,” Lindsay told Vulture this week, referring to her exchange with Harrison. “The franchise has spent 19 years cultivating a toxic audience.”
“They have constantly given it a product it wants: a midwestern/southern white, blonde, light-eyed Christian,” she went on. “Not all viewers are like that. My Higher Learning co-host and I have divided it — there is a Bachelor Nation, and there is a Bachelor Klan. Bachelor Klan is hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic. They are afraid of change. They are afraid to be uncomfortable. They are afraid when they get called out.”
Lindsay also said people on social media “began to dig up dirt” on her.
“I received death threats and personal attacks. I had to hire people to protect me,” she said. “I couldn’t even pretend to want to be involved anymore. I didn’t want to give people a reason to talk about me because everything I was saying was becoming a headline. And so I decided to remove myself from it all.”
Despite all of that, Lindsay told Vulture she doesn’t regret being a Bachelorette ― but said she wouldn’t “come back and talk about something if they paid me.”
“Well, maybe if they paid me eight figures...” she added.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.