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February 16, 2021 72 mins

Award winning producer, bestselling author and renowned motivational speaker DeVon Franklin joins Ben and Ashley for an honest and important conversation about race. 

We discuss the recent controversy surrounding The Bachelor franchise and what steps can be taken to improve and grow.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
This is the Benn and Ashley I Almost Famous podcast
with i R Radio. This is another Almost Famous special episode. Obviously,
there's been a lot that's gone on in Bachelor Nation
over the last week. Uh. We do break down this
show on this podcast, and so it's important for us
to talk about it. Uh. Today we're bringing in somebody.
Uh who Uh I know, Ashley, you've been a fan

of for a while. His wife is a fan of
the show. It's Megan Good And Uh and how did
you come across uh, Davon or do you want to
tell him in person? I? Okay, Well, Uh, Davon Franklin
is gonna be our guest today. Uh. If you don't
know of Devon he, I mean his resume is incredible.
He's an award winning producer, New York Times best selling author,

which I know how hard that is to become, and
it's not easy. I am not one of those yet. Um,
and a renowned motivational speaker. Uh. He has made this
commitment and in his words and his bio, he says
he's made a commitment to inspire people around the world
through entertainment. Uh. He is definitely a force in media. Uh.
He is an inspiration to many. Uh. I'm really pumped

to talk to the day because he's one of those
people uh again that like I never thought I would
have the opportunity to talk to uh. And if you
sit down with a in a room with him, I
just imagine the wisdom, insight, uh, the things that he
could share with anybody. I'm sure people pay a lot
of money to hear him speak, and we're lucky enough,
um to have him on the podcast today to speak

on this topic and to educate us all, to share
with us all his thoughts. UH. Now before we get going, UH,
you know, obviously after the interview with Rachel Lindsay, Chris
Harrison UH has now came out with a few apologies.
I'm gonna read a paraphrase version here for everybody, just
because there are long um, but we've come down with

the meat of what's going on. I'm gonna read those
to you now. This is from Chris Harrison to my
Bachelor Nation family. I will always own a mistake when
I make one, so I'm here to extend a sincere apology.
Yesterday I took a stand on topics which I should
not have, which I should have been better informed what
I now realized I have done in is cause harm
by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and

for that I am deeply sorry. I promised to do
better then. Uh, just a few days later, maybe a day,
I don't know the exact timeline. Uh. Chris came out
with the second apology. Uh. This one is a little longer,
so bear with me, uh, he says, and I quote.
I've spent the last few days listening to the pain

my words have caused, and I'm deeply remorseful. My ignorance
did damage to my friends, colleagues, and strangers alike. I
have no one to blame but myself for what I
said and the way I spoke. I set standards for
myself and have not met them. I feel that with
every fiber of my being now. I feel that with
every fiber of my being now. Just as I taught

my children to stand up and own their actions, I
will do the same. By excusing historical racism, I defended it.
I invoked the oh crap. Oh. I invoked the term
woke police, which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how
uninformed I was. I was so wrong to the black

community to the b I p o C. Community. I
am so sorry my words were harmful. I am listening,
and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain
it caused you. I want to give my heartfelt thanks
to the people from these communities who have had enlightening
conversations with over the past few days, and I am
so grateful to those who have reached out to help

me on my path to anti racism. This historic season
of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by
the mistake or diminished by my actions. To that end,
I have consulted with Warner Brothers and ABC and will
be stepping aside for a period of time and will
not join the after the final Rows special. I'm dedicated

to getting educated on more profound and productive level than
ever before. I want to ensure our cast and crew members,
to my family, colleagues, and our fans, this is not
just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding
that I will actively make every day. From here. I
can only try to evolve and be a better man,
and I humble myself before all of you. I hope

I will again live up to the expectations you all
rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself.
So following UH, you know, we just read Chris Harrison's
apology and and I want to pause here and say
that we're having this conversation today, UH, based on the
interview that Rachel Lindsay held with Chris Harrison on Extra.
Extra is a show that Rachel Lindsay hosts. Now, Rachel

Lindsay has continued to use her platform to be bold, UH,
to be outspoken, and to continue these conversations that we've
needed to have and that we have continued to have
UH for a long time. Now. You know, people wiser
than me have used the phrase we need to meet
the moment, and we do. We also need to follow

this moment, UH, to continue to educate, to continue to listen,
and to continue to get better from here and now.
But we're here today discussing this because of the work
that Rachel Lindsay did on Extra in her interview with
Chris Harrison. I think it's important that we're having this
conversation now after I've had the past few days to reflect.
Jared and I have talked about race in this franchise

and gone through so many emotions the past couple of days.
We listened to the interview with Chris and Rachel multiple times,
and you know, we were extremely disappointed. We put out
a statement on Friday, which are words that I still
stand by. We spent the entire weekend just talking about everything.
We listened to Rachel's podcast I'm Higher Learning. We read

Charlene's article, which I strongly suggest you guys read It's
at all the Pretty pandas dot com. I agree with
so much that she says in there, and she's so
amazingly articulate. Every time something like this comes up, um
and it's just just, you know, it's disappointing, it's um difficult.

We're going to talk all about it with Devon and
get into the interview itself, race issues within the franchise,
and the future of both the franchise and Chris all
of it. So, coming off of this apology, obviously the
dynamic within the Bachelor World and Bachelor Nation has changed.
We're here to talk about it today. Uh, We're here

to speak on it. And Ashley, I know you're a
fan of Devon, so you want to bring him in. Alright, guys,
we have um in my opinion, somebody who is perfect

for navigating us through this issue. His name is Davon
for Glenn, I'm a fan. I read his book The
Weight and it was very inspiring. I actually found it
on Tanya Rad's desk at the I Heart Station and
I go, what's this about. She tell me how it
was just about well it's a little unrelated right now,

but just romance and how it's worth the weights when
it comes into that department. And Devon, just a little
a little background. About six months after I read your book,
I was engaged, and I was and I was single
when I read it. Yeah. Yeah, But but for our audience,

you know, thank you. We are talking to him today
about you know, um, this whole Chris Harrison conversation and
um mistakes that we and others have made in the past.
And Devon, in my opinion, is perfect for this because
he's he's just a multi he's like really a mogul

when it comes to media. He's an award winning producer,
he's a New York Times bestseller, he's a renowned motivational speaker. Um,
he's made a commitment to inspire people around the world
through entertainment, and I can go through his his list
of his resume right now, and it's very impressive. He's
grossed over one point seven million at the box office

UM through some of his movies like The Star and
Miracles from Heaven UM and just a little fun note.
He's also married to Megan Good, who was one of
the prettiest actresses out there. So thanks for coming on, Devon. Oh,
no problem, no problems to be here. Great to be
with you both. Hey, Dvan, I didn't realize this, but

now it's hitting me. I just came out my very
first book, UM about two weeks ago, and I have
a chapter in there about Tanya rad and she speaks
in that chapter the whole chapters on singleness, but she
speaks in that chapter about a book that she read
that inspired her, made her feel less alone and more loved.
And now I'm putting two to two together. That was

your book and I wrote about it without knowing whose
book was. So hey, that's pretty good stuff right there.
That's crazy, that's crazy. It's amazing. Yeah, she's incredible, and
that's my sister, and it's amazing just to see, you know,
the impact of the way and just you know, you know,
look we wrote it from our experience, and it's blessing
that it's touched so many people, especially her and you all.

So it's it's an honor to be with you the show.
And I think that's probably where, I mean, where would
be best to start here. So you do a lot
of stuff, and I think that you know, you're you're all,
You're all of the place. What you what you've touched
has been successful, You've tasted success, You've I'm sure within
that you've tasted some things that haven't been successful. Uh,
maybe to give a perspective of where you come from
when you in turn and into these things. Why do

you do what you do? Yeah, you know a great question.
You know why I do what I do is, you know,
goes back to the beginning. Um, the middle child of
three boys, and when I was nine years old. My
father up until that point, you know, until me being nine,
he was an alcoholic and he was in now in
the house pretty much throughout my whole life. And then
when I was nine he died of a heart attack

when he was thirty six, and so he left Um. Um, yeah,
he left me and my brothers, who raised by my
mother and by my grandmother and my grandmother sisters, and
so that period of time was very difficult and what
really got me through because we didn't have money for
you know, for therapy. I mean, you know, we were
on welfare. I mean, it was a very difficult moment

of time, and it was watching entertainment and going to
church that really helped me get through. And movies like
Back to the Future and Rocky and the Colored Purple
and uh TV shows like a Different World. I mean,
those shows just blew my mind and really helped me
navigate this period of time. And so I figured, you know,
if I can use the combination of what I learned

in church, when I'm learning in church and entertainment to
help improve people's lives, that was really the why, because
I know what it's like to by yourself. I know
what it's like to go through tragic moments. I know
what it's like to feel like you're all alone. And
I really feel like people come to entertainment as to
escape their reality, and so what better way to help
them in reality than to give them something during that

escape worthwhile. So that's really why I do what I do.
So you, I believe are a Bachelor fan or you're
at least familiar enough with the franchise for this conversation.
Oh yeah, yeah, Megan is she's been a she's been
a member of Bachelor Nation longer than me. She got
me watching. Yeah, that's so exciting. And hear yeah, oh yeah,

I think I started watching. Um, it had to be
at least three or four seasons ago, and so yeah,
now I'm just totally hooked. So we just go from Bachelor, Bachelorette,
Bachelor in Paradise, the whole is all year, you know,
So I've been watching. I watched the whole Bachelorette with
Claire and then um uh tysia excuse me, um, and

then obviously watching with Matt James every week and and
all of it. So yeah, I'm pretty up to speed
with what's going on. And I'm waiting week to week
to see the news. So I'm very, very familiar with
the situation, the circumstances and all that has been going on. Okay,
do you have any initial thoughts before we get into
specific questions? UM, I got a lot of thoughts. So

I'm gonna let you just get into the questions so
that when we can just hear everything you want to
you wantakay. I got a lot of thoughts. Alright, well
you uh, you came on a day because you are
familiar with the situation. Obviously, just if anybody's out there
listening who doesn't know what's going on, I mean, um,
this last week early on Rachel Lindsay, who hosts for Extra,

did interview with Chris Harrison. Uh. Conversations came up about
a contestant on the show. Her name is Rachel Um.
There are some pictures that were shown of her at
an Antebellum themed party. Rachel asked Chris for his response.
Uh and uh, and I don't even know it's unless
we play the interview. I can't even really summarize his response,

but the in short, the response gained a lot of attention.
Uh and uh. The attention wasn't necessarily positive for Chris.
And at this point in time, Chris is announced that
he is stepping away temporarily at this point um from
the show. And so if you haven't seen the interview,
I just pause this. You know, this conversation here, go
watch that. It's going to give you more perspective into

what we talk about and how we break down and
and try to figure out what's going on with everything
with de Von Devon to dig in here. Um, you
know I'm coming into this today and I've prayed through this.
I told Ashley Naming, I was gonna take an hour
before this conversation and pray through it. It always, I
don't know, helps at some level, UM, get perspective. I
think there's one thing. I was just talking to my

fiance up stairs before I came down. I said, I
kind of want to start this by by telling you,
um that it's it's felt heavy. I think for everybody. Uh,
since that interview Rachel has has has felt heavy. I'm
sure Chris, uh, you know, feels heavy. I was able
to speak with him for for a while last night

before this interview. Um, it feels really heavy. And so
I want to start by saying, when you're in the
midst of a heaviness, right. I was reading uh Morgan
Harper Nichols this morning, who I'm having on my show
tomorrow night, um, and she talks about when you're in
a season of heaviness, like it's hard to see the
joy beyond it. It's hard to see any any light
beyond anything good coming from it. So when we're in
seasons of heaviness, like a lot of people are feeling

in this situation others, what do you always recommend doing? Uh?
Don't resist it? Mhm. You know. Um, so often where
we want to feel good, and there's nothing wrong with
that that we all wanted, But when these moments happen,
they're happening for a reason. If we look at life
as a mirror, sometimes some things get reflected that we

wish we didn't see, but they're there, and when we
try to push and just get to the good time,
we may miss the power and the purpose of the pain.
So in this heaviness, and rightfully so, Uh, I would
encourage anyone just not to not to rush through it,
to evaluate it, to understand this too will pass. You know,

this is a season. It's not gonna be this way forever.
But what do I need to know in this season?
And and how can the heaviness actually be a helper
to me? Um? Because sometimes when we have that heaviness,
that emotional weight, that's sometimes when we get our greatest revelations,
when we get our greatest breakthroughs, when we get to
begin to see, Okay, this is where I'm supposed to

go this when I'm supposed to do, I realize, oh,
there's some things about me I want to change. Seasons
of heaviness can come with some of the greatest help
we get. So I would just encourage anyone not to
encourage yourself, especially don't don't rush through it. Sift through it,
see what's there for you, and know that eventually it
will pass. You bring up something about like sitting through

it um and like really reflecting, and I know that
that's something that Ben and I feel is very important
in moments like this. We are um, I don't want
to say pressured, but like really encouraged to speak out
immediately and like to react more than to reflect in
moments like this. How do you feel about that culture

that we're living in where things need to seem to
be immediate? Mm hm. So, so it's there's a there's
a nuance, and it really depends on the circumstances situation.
So if you have nothing to do with the situation, right,
then I do think, all right, let me take a
minute evaluate what's going on, and then I'll speak when

I feel like I feel strong enough to speak. If
there's no real other reason why I should be speaking
if I'm not the person that's a part of it.
In this situation, you know, I know we're gonna get
into it. Um. You know, there there is one party
that I argue did not speak up soon enough, because
in speaking up sooner, some of what we all now

our experiencing could have been mitigated. And and because there
wasn't a voice, you know, there's there's this scripture, there's
this not a scripture is actually saying that this nature
abhors a vacuum. So wherever there's a vacuum, nature wants
to fill it as it relates to the allegations and
and what was what we've been you know what has
just recently happened. There was a vacuum because nobody was

addressing it and the party privit, who party who was
about didn't say anything for for you know, six weeks.
So what happens is in that vacuum we find the
Chris Harrison situation. Right. So so in this in this scenario,
I do think that you have to evaluate where you

are in the situation that's being asked to be spoken about,
and if you are one of the parties that actually
can add light and add clarity to to give emphasis
to what really did or didn't happen. I think that
that probably makes that that emphasis and that that communication
mob priority. Whereas if you are just a bystander, you're
just hey commenting, then sometimes it's better to reserve judgment

before you know all the facts, and then once you
know the facts and how you feel about those facts.
Been speaking from an educated point of view is always,
in my opinion, the best place to speak. So to
give clarity what we're talking about is, I mean Rachel
kirk Canal. I think that's how you say her last name. Uh,
it's close enough, and I think it's like, uh, Rachel
k let's say that uma Rachel. Uh. There's a lot

of Rachel's in here, so you need to be clear.
Rachel Kah had some allegations out against her for I
think it was six weeks, right, These these things were swirling.
She knew of them. It wasn't kind of in and
it wasn't lost upon her. I know she knew of her,
and nothing was said right, nothing was said, and so
Chris Harrison ended up needing or being questioned and asked
to speak up on her part um. So if we

go back to the beginning. Though, if I'm hearing it right,
you're what you're saying is Rachel should have Rachel k
should have said something. She should have responded to this
if she, if she could have, sure. So So I'm
gonna say two things. I'm gonna address Rachel Kay in
a minute. You all know much more about the ins

and outs of the Bachelor world in production than I do. Um.
One of the many hats that I wear is I'm
a producer, so I produced you know, many films, and
before I was a producer, I was an executive for
Sony Pictures Entertainment, and I've done you know, a lot
of movies. So I'm very familiar with production. In my experience,
and in my opinion that the Bachelor team, whoever that is,

if that's ABC or the Bachelor producers, should have been
the first ones to say they're smoke here, we need
to deal with this. And she's a contestant on a
show and she's in a big machine. I'm not going
to excuse her. I have some points later which we'll
get to, but like when when it all started to
smoke to me, the show should have said, wait, we've

got to address this now. And put this to bed
instead of hoping, seemingly hoping that it would just kind
of go away and the chatter online would die. Because
what that did was if she if she was not
approached by the show and to say, hey, this is
a problem, you need to address it, then if she

was left to her own devices, I can imagine the
fear that she may have had needing to address something
that when she ultimately made her statement that she was
completely ashamed of and mortified but still had to own
up too. But owning up to that those type of
things does take courage and it also takes support. Right,

So yes, I do think that Rachel should have spoken
up way sooner. But I also wonder where was ABC
and the Bachelor team in this process and how how
effective were they initially when they saw this and trying
to to, you know, bring this to to ahead quickly.

It's it's an interesting statement and I want to dig
into that for a second because it's something that hasn't
gotten talked about enough from your I mean, I'm not
a producer. I've never produced a show. I've been on
a reality television show. I would never claim that my
experience or my knowledge of production is vast, so you
have been behind the scenes. If there anything inside of you, UM,

that could all explain why ABC has a contestant on
their show. And there's people hurt by the things that
they're hearing, right the black community, the people of color
are being hurt by the things that are they're hearing
and seeing from what has gone on in the past.
ABC knows of this, yet nothing is said for weeks

and so people not only is Rachel k hurting and
probably feeling I'm imagining based on her statement now really ashamed,
really her really confused. Yet the people that you know,
she's that have brought out the allegations of her and
ABC sitting there saying nothing. Why would that be? You know,

you know, listen, UM, it's very hard without being in
those rooms just to to speak accurately on on what
is or what isn't. UM. You know, my my opinion
and my assessment of the situation may have been they
probably talked about it. They probably felt like, you know, hey,
let's just let's just see how this all kind of
plays itself out, you know, let's monitor the chatter. Um.

And then it was a situation because Matt James even um,
I think did an interview where the question was brought
up and he kind of had to you know, he
he kind of had it. He was put in a situation,
which I think was unfair to put him in that
situation to defend something that he really has nothing about.
He didn't know anything about the background of these women
before getting on the show. He just went on the
show and let his heart be his guide and then

all this stuff, that stuff started happening. So I would
believe that in a situation like this, the network may
have felt like, you know what, maybe we can just
ride this out, Maybe we don't need to actually, you know,
deal with it, because maybe if we deal with it,
maybe it'll make it bigger. That made that would be
my thought. Again, without being in those rooms. It's really
hard to say, because I do think I do think

that when you look at and and you know, this
is probably getting a little ahead of where we want
to be. But I'll say this now, since we're talking
about the network. This the Bachelor franchise, and I don't
have to tell you all because you all are a
part of it, has had a has had a really
um uncomfortable dance with race from the beginning, And and

because in my experience with watching the show and just
what I've known about, you know, the franchise for for years,
even before I was watching it, that that that disc
that uncomfort you know, it doesn't go away. And just
by saying, oh, we've chosen the first black male bachelor,
you know, the black black bachelor, then okay, we're doing

It's like no, there's so much that goes on with that.
And I do think that this situation, it's just a
symptom of the larger problem that the franchise has not
yet taken the time to really deal with effectively, you know.
And so when this happens, it's like, oh, wow, we

can't believe this happened, But it's like, how can we
not know this wasn't gonna happen? What Rachel k has
now admitted that she was a part of those things,
um are hurtful. And we're in a time now where
years ago it could have just gone away, but now
you know, race and culture and and and and who

we are. It should have always been this way, but
even now you can't just those things don't get a
blind eye. So I think that because in my experience
in my opinion, the franchise has turned a blind eye
too many times that this is a symptom of a
problem that still needs significant UM care. It needs significant
an instruction on really how to reconcile. You know, this

franchise that is beloved around the world as it relates
to race, specifically in this country. There's so much in
that moment that you just said there that I want
to address UM. But I'll go like with with parts
right now. Okay. So I actually I reached out to
some of the women of color from this season and

one of the women said that they feel like this
season has been um one step forward, two steps back,
And I asked her, I go, so, other than this
extra interview, what have you guys felt has been a
step back? And she sent me, if you go to
Bachelor data on Instagram, they do graphs of screen time

and stuff. We actually had the creator of this account
on and it shows that even though there are more
women of color than ever on the season, they're still
getting less screen time. And she also said, is that um,
their love stories were barely featured. She said that they
chose to feature white women and petty drama instead when

they didn't have to. She said, we had an amazing
cast of women of color, and the audience didn't get
to know them. So I would say that that's one
of the root issues here in the franchise. Wow. Wow,
well you're you're hitting the nail on the head. I mean,
you know again, I'm watching the show and I'm just wondering.

You know, no, no disrespect to Victorian, and I understand,
you know, all the you know values she brought. But
I'm like, yo, okay, we get it right, and we
get it, we understand it. The queen has spoken, But
now you are really you know after you know, I
think the episode or two before she finally was eliminated, Like,
you're given all this energy and drama to this at

the expense of these other women that really deserved time.
So there's an intro statistic. I wasn't aware of it,
but it doesn't surprise. It's uh, you know, it's it's funny.
The whole time I was able to be on set
this year. Um, and there's this girl named Maggie who's
an incredible story. Uh. And the whole time I was
always hinting on this podcast because I did get the meter.

I was like I cannot wait for her story to
be shared, Like I cannot wait for her victories in
life and her journey in life and her story to
be shared. It was never shared. Uh, and and I felt,
you know, and and now it's kind of like every
you know, um, everything should be uncovered at this point.
The frustration I think that we were all experiencing, in
those of us who knew the girls behind the scenes,

a little bit we're saying was these stories aren't being shared.
It's frustrating. We need to share them because there's some
incredible people here and instead, like you said, hey, we're
not this is not a podcast about Victoria or the drama,
but it is getting overshadowed. Their stories are being overshadowed.
Their stories are being covered up. This season didn't need
to go this way. And I think that's just a critique. Um.

That was you know, un solicited on my part. Hey,
this season had a lot of potential. It felt very
far short, and I think I'm hoping now, uh, ABC
sees that, like I'm hoping that they see that, hey,
they just missed the mark here. They had a great
opportunity and it did fall short. Well, speaking of fallen short,
you know, we are here to discuss um, Chris and

Rachel Lindsay's interview. Uh, and to start it. Uh, you've
watched it, correct, I did? Okay? Where did Chris go wrong?
Loaded questions? Sorry, it's okay, It's okay. Listen. I don't
know Chris Harrison personally from everything I can to help

from watching the show. You know, he seems to be
a very good dude, very upstanding. Like you know, I
have great respect for him, even for someone I have
not met. Here's where he went wrong? You know. One
of the other things that I have I do. You know,
I've been I've been you know, in entertainment since I
was eighteen years old, so you know, I've had to

navigate entertainment, you know, as as a black man from
the beginning and most recently out of services as governor
for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, and
have done a lot of work around diversity. Here is
one of the biggest fatal flaws, I believe of the
Chris Harrison interview. We are at a time where you

we have to and this is this is going to
be this is a hard thing to do. But BEFO,
when before you speak on race, especially if you're white,
you you first have to ask yourself, well, what what
is my unconscious bias here? And letting me be be
very careful of not going on and talking about something

that I hadn't really thought about how the other side feels. First,
there was there were a number of things I think
Chris could have done better. Um, you know, the first
thing is limited to what he knew. I think the
commentary about the woke police and the commentary about you know,

oh well when she did that three years ago, you know,
it was more like those are those those comments were
like no, no, no, Chris, you're you were Chris. We
were with you when you said you can only speak
from where you can what you know. But then when
you started to do that, what happened is he took
black people's pain and how we feel about how you know,

white people have trivialized our pain. You know, when you
look at those Antebellum parties, it's just a trivialization of
black pain. It's making fun of it. Hey, we're gonna
make fun of what you all actually had to go
through for our party, right like, and that's painful, and
it was never in fashion, then it's not in fashion
now and and and so I think that to speak

in a way that was so pallas because of his
unconscious bias. He did not have an intent to hurt.
I don't believe. I do not believe that Chris Harrison
had malice in his heart. Yet this is one of
the challenges that we face when we deal with where
we are today, and when we talk about white people

talking about, you know, race. One of the things I
consistently but up against is especially when someone you know
is used white identifies as liberal. Sometimes they're one of
there's some of the most difficult people to to help
see this issue because they kind of come from and say,
oh no, I'm not like those people. I'm not racist,

you know, I'm not prejudiced. I'm for everybody. But as
a man, right, I can do my best to be
sensitive to women's issues, but I also have to learn
to listen because I'm not a woman, and there are
some things that women go through that I don't have
any business speaking on. I just have to listen. And

I think too often when it comes to race, to
me and my experienced white men especially feel too comfortable saying,
oh no, if this is why we're passes, we're good
you you when you when we are the ones from
those people of color who have experienced the pain, you
can't tell us it's time to heal. That healing takes

place when it takes place. So I think Chris went
went wrong in my opinion when he really contextualized this
whole thing as the wote police and Rachel's is an
adult not holding her accountable. Meaning listen, if he knew

what he knew to say, listen, I know what I know.
She needs to speak for herself and my my hope
as once he speaks for herself, it will add clarity
to her actions. We as the Bachelor you know nation
Bachelor team, we are for everybody. We understand the sensitivity
out there. We know people are hurting by this and
we are getting to the bottom of it, and you
we're making a statement soon soon. If then it ended there,

it would have addressed what was going on. It would
have taken leadership. It would have showed which side the
production and the team was really on. But I think
when he started to veer into his own point of
view about the Wow police and about oh, you know,
disforgive ors you know, it's like she's fine, it's like no, no, no,
no no. That's when it goes too far. And as

somebody who is a fan of Chris Harrison, I say
all of these things in love because if you know,
if we can't teach each other in moments like this,
if we can't have civil conversations, then we can never
make progress. So I don't say any of these things
to disparage him, but I say these things to say, hey,
here's really where it went wrong. So do you feel

like people who have said things like Kristen this interview
or gone to parties like Rachel has are they racist
or are they ignorant in your opinion? Well, um, listen,
I am not going to make a judgment about who

someone is. Uh. In a lot of ignorance, there are
a lot of racist things done. So I would go
as far as to say someone going to an Antebellum
party uh, in their ignorance, is committing and participating in
a racist event. And given the time that we are in,

it's really hard for me to believe that someone who
is an adult is not aware of the history of
the Antebellum and the history of these parties and the
understanding that they are derogatory in nature, that does not
make them. This is me speaking because other black people
and other folks may feel totally different. I don't deem

that person a racist because I don't know that person
and I and I resist the temptation to judge anyone
in their character until I don't know them, so I
can talk about the action. It's a racist action. It's
a racist event. And sometimes at ignorance definitely leads us.
It leads, you know, in those situations to participate in

things that otherwise they shouldn't have participated in. So again,
I don't know Rachel Kay at all, so I am
definitely not calling her racist by any stretch of the imagination. However,
in her ignorance, she absolutely participated in a racist event.
So for you personally, um, because you can speak on
this and actually I cannot. But you see this event, right,

and uh, and I I was unfamiliar with this these
kind of events until recently. Uh, they became a more
apparent to me that it is. Uh. And I think
Chris really didn't hit this well, but I think he
was trying to was like, these these are not an
uncommon party and and at Southern universities. These are not
things like I should have known that these parties existed. Uh,

And I think universities are now stepping in and stopping them.
But these have been going on for a long time
and they're and they're not okay. Um. But a lot
of people participated in them, maybe not knowing the significance
or the meaning to them. So now we have the
Rachel k scenario, we have these pictures coming out. She's
not responded well. Now that we've brought up Rachel's apology,

I do want to read um what we think is
some of the most important bullet points, not the entire apology.
If you do want to read her entire apology, you
can see it on her Instagram. She says, I was ignorant,
but my ignorance was racist. I am sorry to the
communities and individuals and my actions harmed and offended. I'm
ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no

one's responsibility to educate me. She says she will continue
to learn how to be anti racist, and that it
is important to speak up in the moment and not
after you're called out. I deserve to be held accountable.
She says for her actions, I will never grow unless
I recognize eyes what I have done is wrong. I

don't think one apology means that I deserve your forgiveness,
but rather I hope that I can earn your forgiveness
through my future actions. What is the appropriate response back
to her, as she's I'm imagining and we're putting words
in her mouth. But just from her statement that we read,
I'm sure she was scared hurting learning a ton um uh, confused?

Maybe I don't know all those things that you imagine
that you get when when chaos is around you and
you're like learning a bunch at one time and everything
the world's kind of falling down around you. What then,
is the response to her, as she admits, or at
least as far as we know, have said, Hey, I'm
taking this opportunity to learn and understand just how painful
the decisions I made in my past are. And where

do we go with with her in mind? And so
when you say, what is the response? I tell me
for the response from who you know? Like what if
you say, what is the response? Like you know, how
how should the comment be handled? Like? Give me some more? Yeah?
So I mean I think when I say that, I'm
meaning right now, it's loud. On social media especially, it's
very loud, and I would imagine that's coming from people

of all different races. Um. But I think when it
comes to uh, people of color, you you can speak
to the response to appropriate. There's a response maybe you
want to see or that you feel would be most
healthful and helpful. That would be I think the right.
But see here's but here's the truth again. How much

background checks that you've got to go through before you
get on the show. Yeah plenty. Yeah, Okay, okay, okay.
So so if she if she again, let's just spoke
to this for a minute, if she saw, Oh, Matt James,
I'm gonna he looks great. I want to you know,
he could be my husband. I'm gonna I'm gonna go

and apply for the Bachelor. I'm gonna go through the process.
They're gonna go through my whole background. They're gonna come,
they come back to me and say, you are clear,
we welcome to the show. We want to have you.
So she's like, great, you know what whatever she whatever
men she may have made personally for those things, we

don't know, right because the show wasn't really asking that
she went through the process. So here's the here's the
crazy part. So if she went through the background check,
and she went through everything, and then now as a
part of the show, these things come out, let's just
pause for a minute. Again. This is why I go
back to when we talk about the Chris Harrison and

we talk about the show. There has to be a
greater sensitivity to these things when these things are checked out.
Because if I'm Rachel, like I think your response to
Rachel is thank you, you know, glad for your sensitivity
and and and for me, it's like she just has
to continue with the show, letting that decide at the
end of the day if he if she is the
right bit for him or not, and if he feels

good about her her apology or not. But where the
show failed was let it get this are Why was
this not caught in the background check? And if it
was caught, why was a blind I turned That's where
it starts, because if you for her, I'm just again
I'm not excusing her actions. She needs to be held accountable.

I'm so I thought her statement felt very heartfelt. And
here's what I know. She will continue to do this
work for the rest of her life. And she seems
very serious about that. And when I say do this work,
meaning like, okay, you know what, I'm not going to
be the person that contributes to racist activity. I do
want to be the person that is positive and that
does bring people together and that learns and listens. She

seemingly from that statement, seems like that's who she wants
to be. And no matter what, now that this show
is going to live with her for the rest of
her life, She's gonna be forced to deal with race,
no matter if she likes it or not, to some degree,
for the rest of her life. So that's what's gonna
happen with her. But why did it get here? The
fact that God here is not her fault. That's the

art that I think we have to look at and
what I would I think when we talk about what's
happening online, it's very easy again to tear somebody down,
you know, it's easy to tear her down. It's easy
to tear Chris down. I understand that. But neither of
them operate in a vacuum. And so when we talk
about what's happening inside of this universe called the Bachelor,

there's a larger thing that needs to be addressed on
how do we deal with these issues once and for all?
And again, I don't know anybody involved with the show.
I had a couple of meetings with Rob Mills, you know,
just on the general you know, two years ago. He's
cool dude. I think he's a great guy. Again, I
don't know him personally. We you know, we had a
we had a great meeting. So I don't really know

how it all works, as my point, but these are
the things that need to be talked about. So the
response to me to Rachel is thank you for your statement,
and let's see how you fare on the rest of
the show. The response to me to the Bachelor operation
is hold up, something has got to be done. You
cannot take this and sweep this under the rug. What

is going on? Why does there seem to be an insensitivity?
Why do you know even with Matt James, when Matt
James is telling again this is just my two sense.
I don't even know who listens how, you don't know
if I'm been getting trouble in it is what I'm saying.
What you guys caught me here to say, which is
even when when Matt James sits down with Chris at

the beginning of the season and he's talking about how
difficult it is, you know, to be a as a
black man. Why couldn't the back to get somebody black
to they say, Yo, Bro, let's okay, Bro, You're gonna
be all right. It's not the same, And so I
don't disparage Chris, but it's like that moment, I'm like, Yo,
there's there's some there's a disconnect. You can't just put

somebody of color in the situation and plug in play
and think it's just gonna be the same situation. It's not.
It doesn't mean that there's different rules, but there's a
different nuance that in terms of how things are experienced
and how people feel right, and I just feel like
the show doesn't consistently deal with that. So the response
to Rachel is, thank you for your statement. Let's see

where the season ends up. It's ultimately up to Matt
and it's his choice to make. The response to the
show is we gotta have a conversation as a fan,
as somebody who's watched Rachel have one of the stronger
connections this season, and now that she's acknowledged her past mistakes,

and I like, you feel like it was it was
it was a good apology, you know, I felt like
she had true remorse and awareness. Um. And I really
do think that she wants to change for the better.
But now I'm conflicted as far as like, as a fan,
do I root for this coupling? Can you help me
work there? This failing? I have listen, listen, listen again.

It's so hard without really getting in depth for her story.
You know, like she knew Matt. I mean, I mean
she went on the show. I mean you know she again,
I don't know or she doesn't seem to be chased
a cloud, you know, cloud chaser or something like that,
Like she seems to be genuinely interested. I agree with you.
You know, her date, the whole Cinderella date was like amazing.
Their connection seemed incredible. She doesn't seem like she's playing

for the cameras. In my opinion, she seems very genuine
about the whole thing. So, you know, I think that
as a fan. Um, I think the prayer is from
Matt's heart, you know that that Matt. Maybe we want
Matt to make the right decision. It seems based upon
Matt having the interview he did that I'm assuming he's
been brought up to speed or again, I don't know

in terms of how production works and what we see
and how many more episodes, I don't know all that.
But I would just still root for for love to win.
I mean, let's not let this moment make a cynical
about love. Love works, love wins, and love will find
a way even in a situation like this. And I
do believe that if if Rachel and Matt are meant
to be to get of it, then love is going
to see them through this. And and so I do

think that if if that is, if you you know
your your couple, root form, root form, and love, you know,
pray that there that that is that a is hard,
is open, and her heart is open, and that maybe
this is the thing, this experience is what she needed
to then become the spokesperson to other white men and
women on hey, we can't do this, this is not

how we go about this. And maybe there's a major
blessing that's gonna come out of all of this. But
in terms of rooting, I would still root for them.
I still would, you know, pray for them and let's
see if the problem where the process takes uh you know,
where love takes us at the end of the day,

vandi a few minutes to stick with us. I think
this conversation is one that you know, there's a few
things that you said that I really want to get
your I've got as much time as you need. Uh, well,
thank you for that. Uh you you said the word accountability.
Accountability has been uh but obviously thrown around a lot.
I think it was used when you know, Chris announced
that he is stepping away from the show. He's gonna
be held accountable. I think, uh, you know, as I

looked online, a lot of the words that were being
used to Rachel and to Chris where we need to
hold them accountable. Uh. I would love to get your
idea of healthy helpful maybe would be the better uh
or to use in front of that accountability, like how
do we um if we're sitting there and Rachel really
does say I want to be a spokesperson. I want

to teach people my lessons learned and speak out of that.
And maybe you know I talked to Chris last night.
I know he is in the process right now. Of
consuming a lot, learning a lot. He's very humbled, I
mean like humbled and not like, oh I'm such a
humble man. Like he's just like feeling the weight of this, right,
and he's very open to like hearing from from really
uh knowledgeable sources on how to get better. Uh. So,

with those things in mind, if that's where we're coming from,
how do we give helpful accountability? Right? Okay? Good? So?
So I think that helpful accountability is different for for
Chris and for racial So let's deal with Chris first.
So I think with with Chris, it really goes back to,
you know, that accountability, which is really helpful is to

hold them, hold them accountable being honest, like, bro, we
love you and you missed it. We love you and
you heard us, and and here's why you heard us.
You know, when I go back and I think about
that interview, um, I think all of us have have
strong feelings about about cancel culture, right, and how cancel
culture just moves so quickly, and I think we all

feel like, wait, wait a minute, hold on, I think,
but but the problem was looking at things through a
white lens prevented him to see that it wasn't just
about cancel culture. It was like, oh no, there's a
really serious issue of racism and prejudice that goes really deep.
So let me not a how that that my lens

of you know, of of unconscious bias to not allow
me to see what's really going on. So one of
the keys to healthy accountability is unconscious bias training. Can
you elaborate on that a little bit? Yes, So they're
there there. You know, when you go through unconscious bias training,
it's a real process. You know, that is many times

it's it's hours long where you sit with the professional
and you they walk you through, you know, scenarios and situations.
You know, where you understand you begin to learn like,
oh god it I didn't know when I said that
that was actually presidented you know, Oh I didn't realize
that was an area of sensitivity. Oh my goodness, Wow,
I didn't know that I had a blind spot. So
unconscious biased training I think is critical, UM, in this

in this day and age for anyone endeavoring to navigate
race racial issues successfully. And so I think healthy and
helpful accountability for Chris Harrison would be absolutely in aging
and unconscious biased training. UM. And and you know if
I if I was a part of the process or
we could recommend to them, I said, yeah, he should

put his process should not just be something that he
generates like it should be Yeah, he's gonna do his work,
but there should also be some professional work that is
put in place to really help ensure that this type
of thing never happens again. So that's part of it.
The other part of it is, you know, Chris is
like family, right, so when when we're family, we can

be honest with each other. We could say, hey, this
didn't feel good. You know, it doesn't mean we don't
love him any any less. It's just like you know, again,
I don't love him any less. I know there's people,
you know, saying all these other things I'm saying as
a fan of the Aastornation, I support Chris Harrison. I
love Chris Harrison from what I know. But I also know, like, bro,
there's a real big opportunity for you to learn and

come through this much stronger, much better than the way
you went in and then and the thing to not
do a in it just just be dismissive and callous
about people's pain and situations that you are not well
versed on. And here's the other thing. Rachel's a grown woman.
You don't have to speak for her. You don't have
And this is where we as men get in trouble.

We think we've gotta be speaking for everybody. Know, let
people speak to himselves. He didn't need to be. And
I think that's where one of these where he went wrong.
He started speaking for her. He didn't need to speak
for her. Let her speak for him, let her speak
for herself. Unlet's see what's gonna happen in terms of
healthy accountability for Rachel. It's a tougher assessment because unlike

Chris Harrison, Rachel, I mean, unlike you know, unlike Chris Harrison,
Rachel has not gone on camera, She has not been
asked questions. We don't really know, you know, her feeling
and what led her here. Clearly those things happened years ago.
Clearly she knew the blacker the bachelor was gonna be black,
and clearly she went ahead and and and and you know,
applied anyway, and clearly seems to be falling in love

with the black man. So you know, without hearing from
her her opinion on all of that, it's really hard
to make an assessment on what that healthy accountability will be.
Do I believe that everyone should get a chance to
make amends for their past. Do I think you should
always hold up a mirror to someone's past. Um? Not

in all situations, but in this situation with Rachel, it's
really hard to know what accountability is gonna look like
without hearing more from her. What about accountability when it
comes to Chris? There's so many people calling for his jobs,
saying that in order to take full accountability, he needs
to permanently step down. How do you feel about that? Yeah,

and I listen, I may again, I'm not sure you
know what the majority of minority is. Um. In terms
of social sentiment, I'm listening to the loud social media right.
You know I am not in favor of that. You know,
I think that, come on, think that Chris Harrison has
put his heart and soul into this franchise. Uh. You know,

I think that these moments are moments when you know
you make a mistake, uh, and hopefully you learn from
it and and then you become better for it. And
not only do you become better, but the franchise becomes better. Uh.
So I my hope and prayer is that this is
a massive teaching moment um. But I do not share
the sentiment that because of what he said and how
he said it, that that should be um that he

is fired now again. I know, you know, some people
feel differently about that, and I get that, but I
think that there's too much potential good that can come
from this for Chris, for the Bachelor, for the network,
and for all of the millions of fans. To me,
there's too much potential good to to allow him to

be fired over this. I would much rather this be
a teaching moment where he really understands the error of
his ways, he makes the men ends, and he does
his work from now until and as a result, everyone
else in the franchise, the franchise becomes different. You know,
in moments like this, sometimes are the very best teachers,

because otherwise the franchise may have just kept rolling, rolling, rolling,
still doing the stuff that isn't really for all people.
But the potential good that can come out of this
is much greater to me than letting him lose his
job over As a friend of Chris's, I love your
take on that. That is my hope for the franchise
as well, but we can't. Okay. So with all that
being said, and even though yeah, you know, and I

don't think it's a secret. Like Chris is a friend
of mine, Like I talked to him last night, right,
I want to be there through it. I don't think
what he said and how he said it was good.
I think it was harmful. Um, I told him that
he knows that that's how we feel it, so he
now knows that's how a lot of people feel. But
with that being now in mind and what you just
said also, um, how do we still then? Okay? And

this is gonna be phrase weird? My my questions. I
in my life, I've I've learned a lot from pain,
and I've learned a lot from failure, and I've learned
a lot from messing up. I haven't learned that much
through times of success. It's just maybe an error in
my ways. Usually in success, I just celebrate and I
just keep rolling right. Well, the show is now hitting
a point where it feels like there's a lot of
pain and there is some massive apparent failures. So as

fans of the show, how do we sit back and
still celebrate? Now? This maybe the slower progress. Actually the
quicker progression, then maybe it would have been if they
just would have kept rolling with it. How do we
recognize it, celebrate it, get behind it, help could help
push it forward, help keep pushing Chris Ford, because right

now it feels like and again I said, like the
world of the Bachelor is falling down, like it feels
very quick that the show could just be gone next year,
which I do believe, and I'm not the one to
say it, but like it would be a mistake because
I do think there's a lot of learning that can
be done, um from the millions that watched the show.
So how do we how do we walk in that balance?

I guess you you've gotta walk in in the balance
through um let me let me separate it, right, because
there's a there's the fan, how do we walk in
the balance, and then there's the production in the show
and the network and how do they walk in the balance?

What we ultimately can will receive has so much to
do with what they do or don't do. So I
would say to anyone who's in bassind nation, first and foremost,
you have these you know, um uh contestants on this
show right now, who literally are bearing their heart and

soul to the world looking for love. So so still
route that love is going to find a way with
those who are on the show right now. So let's
just make sure we're not throwing the baby out of
the bath water. Let's let's say, Okay, the show is happening.
They're they're just in it, right, They're innocent bystandards. All
this is happening around them. Listen, we gotta hope they

find left. Let's put that to the side. As fans,
I think we have both hopes. We can hope that
the show endures, and we hope that the show gets better,
and we hope that that that that Chris and the
network do their work in order to fix this show
so that we all can get behind it and stay
behind it with a clear conscience. But as fans, I

think the most powerful thing we have is our voice,
and so what you're hearing are a lot of voices
that need to be listened to. It doesn't mean that, oh,
the voices that are calling for Chriss, you know, firing
that Okay, wow, we have such a sentiment we're just
gonna go by what they say. No, I think what's
the undercurrent is a lot of frustration built up over years.

So it's all this frustration that's now now there's a
because guess what, the Bachelor as a as an entity,
as a morphous outside of Chris Harrison. So the moment
that Chris does this, first of all, he's always been
the face of the Bachelor, but now he becomes the
face of the antagonism because oh wow, now we have

someone to direct our anger to. But really we're angry
that we don't always feel seen and heard by this
show that we love so much. So where do we go?
I think we go to a place of letting cooler
heads prevail. I think the network the show has to
do their work and they have to earn the respect

of those fans that are really upset right now, and
they should not just turned a blind eye and say, oh,
that's a there's a friends group of people, know, so
you know what, there's a lot of people upset about
there out there. But what the wrong move is to
me is to fire Chris and then say, okay, we
let Chris go. You know now we fixed our problem.

No you haven't, because any other hopes that's going to
come into the same system is going to be subject
to the same system. I think that for Bachelor Nation,
this is a moment of powerful reckoning if everyone chooses
to see it that way. But so much of this
responsibility falls on the shoulders of the network and the
producers of the show to to really look at this

as a teachable moment and learn the lesson and do
the best they can to make the show better because
of it. As you speak, it's um, it's just like
it's it's reminding me of over the last few years. Right,
my fiance grew up in the South. Um. She talked
about it on her Instagram, but you know, there's a
lot of traditions in the South that you know. I
think she went to Old Miss up until a couple

of years ago. Dixie was still their fight song, right
like her one of her best friends from college. I
was with her this weekend and she's black and she
was talking to us. She's like, can you believe that
I went out there with pom poms and cheered to
the song Dixie for years, four years of my college experience,
and that was so let's look at the old Miss,
you know, in the comparison of like Old Miss Ish

the Bachelor world, and like, so it's always interesting actually
talk about lot how these scenarios within the Bachelor can
transcend into our regular life, Like we can take examples
that are happening on the show and move them into
our experiences off this show. And I'm listening to what
you're saying right now, and what I'm I'm what I'm
hearing is and what I'm feeling is this, Like, now

it's time for me to do better, It's time for
Ashley to do better, It's time for all of us
to do better. And say, this is a teachable moment
for us all to not just push it on the
rug and say, Okay, I'm gonna delete this picture because hey,
in college, you know, uh, in college I dressed up
as something. No, this is a moment to say, I'm
gonna I'm gonna own this, understand the pain that was
caused in this, learn from it, grow from it, and

now become an advocate because at least the people I
want to associate with my life and are people that
don't want to cause more pain to this world is
already enough. We want to be people that try to
help and not hurt. And so now it's like, Okay,
these things hurt, these things are painful, and tell me
if I'm wrong here. But I'm just trying to, like
here what you're saying, so that I'm taking this out

into the world and for the fans of the show
can take this out in the world and say, now
it's time for us. All that we've we've we've seen
the example of it, it's now time for us to
get better. It's it's been time for us to get better.
Maybe we've tried to get better, but like this is
another reminder of continuing to do the work so less
pain has caused. Yeah, no, Ben, I think what you're
saying is is true, and I think that um it

is commendable because you're You're absolutely right, Like it's about
doing that work. It's about saying, okay, yeah, how can
I you know, as a white man or a white woman,
how can I take this and say, Okay, you know,
what can I learn from it? How can I become better?
Maybe there's something I didn't know, but there's something I've
done in my path. Maybe are things I've said, Maybe
there's people I've associated with that instead of being ashamed

only about those things, saying all right, you know what,
I want to be a part of the change that
I want to see in this world. So I'm going
to contribute to that. And I do think that in Bachelor,
you know nation, it's similar to our nation, you know,
where some you know, some some people are so upset
that this is even a conversation. Some people are just mad,

you know that, Oh, this is just you know, we
should just you know, ignore that. And and we gotta say,
Chris and all these different things. Here's the reality in
any family, you know, you gotta love everybody, and you've
got to hear everybody's point of view. And I think
that in a moment like this when you talk about
you know, both you and Ashley you know, have been

a big part of this this franchise and still continue
to be and so many others. I do think that it's, uh,
it's a moment of reckoning. You know, it's a moment
of reckoning. Um. But I want to be I want
to be I want to be very um clear about something.

It's not a moment of guilt. And here's what I
mean by that. As a white person, you can feel
badly about things you've said or done, as as a
black person. I don't want your guilt about those things. No,
what is meeting? No? No No, no, Just tell what you're

gonna do about it. Acknowledge it, say hey, I'm not
gonna run from it, not sweeping on the rug. I
did it. Here's what I'm doing about it. Cool. So
I think that in this moment, you know, it's like
this idea, you know that that that Oh my goodness.
You know if I'm white, you know, can I talk
about race and I'm not talking about race? Of course
you can talk about race. What if you don't know

what to say, that's okay. It's better to say I
don't know exactly what to say here, but here's what
I'm trying to are. It's better to say something that
to say nothing. And it's better to engage in uncomfortable
conversations around race and get to a comfortable place than
to never have it at all. So that is a

perfect transition into counter into cancel culture, because we need
to talk more, you know, UM, in order to get better, UM,
in order to educate ourselves. We need to have these conversations.
But I think what's so scary for us is that
it seems like we live in such a heated, devisive
world where if you make a mistake and it's not

out of malice, it's out of true ignorance, or you
just simply didn't word something right like, you're at risk
of getting canceled. And I just think that cancel culture
and progress in this are just at each other, like
they just butt heads so much. What do we do
about it? Yeah? You know this is this is very

very true. Um, you know, there is this the cancel
culture that's ready, like literally ready to go to work
if there's anything out of line that anyone says at
any time, depending on what your situation is. I think
that because of that, when it comes to race and
talking about race again, I go back to what we

talked about Chris Harrison already understanding the power of cancel
cross culture either doing one of two things, saying I
need to get go, I need to go get educated
on these issues before I speak, or saying you know what,
I don't know enough yet, you know and and and
and then also framing into a question, you know, what

would be the right response for a white woman in
this situation? What would be the right response for a
white man? What is okay to say and not okay
to say, Like framing it into a question that then
you get feedback on helps prepare you to know what
to say. It is, it is okay to say I
actually don't know what to say. I'm not entirely sure,

but I do want to say something. You know, so
here's my heart. How do I say it will be
the best way to do to it. That's how I
think how you would do it, so that that way
you are engaging in the culture, You're letting the culture
know your heart. Hey, I'm not here to harm. I'm
not here to to provoke the same pain, but I
need some instruction, you know, and there and listen, there's

so much out there. I mean, there's there's so many books,
there's so much knowledge you know, around race and race relations,
especially in excuse me, um, that that if you really
anyone who really wants to know more about these issues
can get me come up to speed very quickly on
what is and what isn't. But when it comes to
cancel culture, especially when it comes to social media, I

would absolutely advise caution, you know, um, don't go out
there and speak about something that you are not educated
on and that you have not checked with, you know,
especially if you're talking about race. You know, please check
with some of your friends of color to say, hey,
I'm thinking about this is what I want to say.
Let them poke some whole was in it before you

publicly say it. The it's obvious talking to your day
and I was doing a little prep for this. But
you have a very high value value on humans. I
can tell you you you really um, people really matter
to you? Absolutely well? Why because man, But but for

the grace of God there go why man? We're all
God's children, period, And the Bible says love your neighbor
as yourself. I do not get an excuse not to
love somebody even if I can't stand their actions. And
also judge not less you be judged. We all come

short of the glory of God. We all are in
need of redemption. I don't say those words to pacify
someone who's done things that need accountability. I'm not ain't that.
But I also in in terms of this whole cancel culture,
I don't want to participate in that. I'm not into
canceling people because people matter. You know. We talked about

Rachel again. I don't know where she needs to be
held to count on all that. But again, knowing what
it's like when you're dealing with Hollywood and and you
know the spotlight for the first time in your life.
This is the most terrifying thing that she's probably ever
gone through in her life. That doesn't make it right
what she did. But I'm just saying, like we're just

gonna all of a sudden just crucify her and then say,
all right, her body is laying by the side of
the road, and all right, we canna keep on moving.
I can't participate in that. That's not who I am.
That's not what I want to be about. I'm like, yo,
let's talk about it. What you did was wrong. I
think you know, here's where you went wrong. Let's see
how we can fix it. You know. Let's like I'm
more about that because we all need it, man, we

all need it. We all need it. There are times
and situations where we all need redemption. We all have
made mistakes that we are completely terrified about, that we
were remorseful of, and we need a shot to get
it right. And I just believe in that. I believe
in that deeply. Now. I believe that we should give
people a shot to get it right. Um, And my

hope is that if they get that shot, but they
would do something positive with another thing. I want to
say real quickly, Venu, It's just something earlier in your
question I wanted to address when we're talking about pain
and accountability and you know Chris uh and if and
it kind of the implication was like, well, if he
doesn't lose his job, is he gonna be really experiencing
the pain from the whole experience from what from what
I can glean, this is the most painful experience he's

probably ever been the professionally, because he seems to be
someone who completely uh cares and wants that to be experienced,
and on the show in a moment like this where
he said something which you know was was has been
taken the way that it's taken, and also him realized thinking,

oh man, I I misspoken. I shouldn't have said those things.
I'm sure he's experiencing devastating pain at this moment. So
I don't think that the barometer for the pain he
should experience is losing his job. I think that he's
already going through the pain. And my hope is that
again with this pain will produce something positive for himself
with the show, but the network and most importantly the fans,

because this show, you all know, this show man, this
franchise represents hope to people. It reminds people that, you know,
love can work and love will win. And so if
we as the Bachelor nation don't don't practice that love,
we then we really really aren't part of the nation. Right.
It's like, now we've got to be a part of
like loving people back to where we want them to be,

even if it's painful. Ben, did you get a little
emotional there, because I certainly did. I was like, I
have a lump in my throat. You're a beautiful person, divine,
thank you for just everything. I have no response to
you because like what you say is just and heavenly
to me. Yeah, and it's not and and and it's

not just you know because it's good. Right. Uh, it's
not just because it sounds nice. It's not just because
you know and and no secret to this is like
we said many times here, three times I think I've
said it's like Chris is a friend and he's he's family,
he's been I mean, this show has been really good
to us and it's been good to many people. Um,
I would never be talking to you today. Uh if

it wasn't for this show. And and I and I
need to recognize that. Um and so it's a shocking moment.
It's it's a weird moment. Uh, as as a friend,
we need to say, Chris, I'm not okay with this, UM,
but I'm learning too along the way. Like there's things
you said in there, but like I didn't pick up
on right away, I hear the response. We all need

to get better from it. We all need to learn
from it. Um. Davon, thank you for coming on here,
thank you for for taking the time. Uh. It means
a ton to us. I think it means it will
mean a ton to the listeners out there. UM. And
and you said some I just wanna sticks with me
and then I'm gonna take here. Uh what is that.

There's a lot of work to be done, um, but
we can't give up hope. We can't and um and
so I'm just that's that's my that's my big note
coming out of this is there's a lot of work
to be done, a lot of conversations we have, but
we can't give up hope and and thank you for
for for reminding me of that and sharing that with us. Um,
it's a big deal for us, my pleasure. Thank you

for having me and uh, you know we gotta keep
over live. You know, we got oh, we got nothing.
So yeah, I know we can get through this. Uh.
It's painful, a lot of work to do, but it's
totally there to do if the powers that be choose
to do it. Listening to you today is truly enriching
my life. So thank you very much. Oh Ashley, thank

you so much. Thank you. Well, we can't in this
podcast classically, we can't in this podcast in any way
that we don't usually in this podcast, the Von Uh,
if you can just follow our lead. Uh, if you
don't get it right, Uh, it's okay. But hey, this
has been a podcast with Von Franklin covering the situation

that happened last week. Uh and the comments made by
Chris Harrison in the interview with Rachel Lindsay. Uh, we
hope this podcast is helpful. We hope you listen. We'll
be back to break down um the episode. Uh, you know,
because that's kind of what this podcast is. Uh. Without
neglecting and negating the importance of what's happening now and

not pushing it aside, but consistently reminding us um that
this work to be done, this hope to be had.
In the words of Devon Franklin, what with that, I've
been Been, I've been Ashley. Follow the Benn and Ashley
I Almost Famous podcast on iHeart Radio or subscribe wherever
you listen to podcasts.
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