Life After ‘The Bachelor’: Find Out What Former Host Chris Harrison Is Up to Today
Where is he? Chris Harrison was introduced to Bachelor Nation during the season 1 premiere of The Bachelor in March 2002. While the show featured – and continues to star to this day – new leads each season and has had several spinoffs, the one consistent part of the franchise was Chris. However, that all changed when he stepped down from his role as host in June 2021. Keep reading to find out what Chris is up to today and why he left the show.
When Did Chris Harrison Start Hosting ‘The Bachelor’?
The first season of The Bachelor followed leading man Alex Michel looking for love. As Alex navigated dating several women at once, Chris kept fans in the loop and helped guide Alex on his journey to the altar.
The first season was a hit and Chris solidified himself as a familiar face for viewers. He went on to host the next 25 seasons of the show, as well as the spinoffs The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, The Bachelor Winter Games, The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart and The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever! To say that he was synonymous with the franchise is an understatement, but his monopoly on the show came to an end amid significant controversy.
Why Did Chris Harrison Leave ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise?
In June 2021, Chris found himself at the center of scandal as Matt James’ season was airing. After emphasis on the franchise’s lack of diversity, Matt’s casting as the first Black bachelor was seen as a huge step for the ABC hit, but the allure of the season was tainted in its immediate filming aftermath. The season’s winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, faced backlash for previously liking Confederate flag-related TikTok videos as well as for attending a plantation-themed party in 2018. Silence, statements and reevaluations quickly followed, but Chris commented on the ongoings in a manner that did not age well.
In light of the controversy, the longtime host defended Rachael during a February 2021 Extra interview with former The Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, the first Black bachelorette who has since been vocal about the franchise’s shortcomings.
“We all need to have a little grace … Because I’ve seen some stuff online, again this judge-jury-executioner thing, where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart,” Chris said at the time. “I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to.”
“The woke police is out there. And this poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions,” Chris continued. “I don’t know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this.”
In the interview’s aftermath, fans were quick to call Chris out for both his comments and its setting, as he was speaking to a franchise lead who represented much needed diversity within the cast.
After facing backlash from fans, Chris issued an apology to Rachel while appearing on Good Morning America and issued a statement via social media. He explained that he was “stepping aside for a period of time” from the franchise, though insisted he would return to host the shows.
However, former franchise stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe were then hired to host season 17 of The Bachelorette in June. That same month, Chris revealed he was permanently leaving the franchise.
“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote via Instagram. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
What Is Chris Harrison Up to Today?
Chris has been focusing on his personal life following his exit from the franchise. After the scandal, Chris relocated from Los Angeles to his home state of Texas in June 2021.
He got a fresh start by wiping clean his Instagram account, with his first post back on the platform announcing his engagement to Lauren Zima in October 2021. “I love you @laurenzima The next chapter starts now!” he wrote alongside a photo from the proposal.
The couple began dating in August 2018, and they made their red carpet debut at a pre-Screen Actors Guild Awards party in January 2019.
In addition to sharing photos with his fiancée and two kids – whom he shares with his ex-wife, Gwen – Chris has also revealed he’s still in contact with a number of Bachelor Nation stars. The former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host has posted and been tagged in photos with Tyler Cameron, Wells Adams, Ben Higgins and Andrew Firestone.
Chris Harrison Is Launching a Podcast
In December 2022, Chris announced that he would be launching a new podcast, “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever … With Chris Harrison.”
“Fans can expect to hear Chris open up like never before. Using his unparalleled expertise, he will dig into all things relationships every week,” the podcast description reads. “Fans will no longer just be going along for the ride, they’ll be up close and personal with Chris as he navigates through dating, marriage, love, loss, and more. For the first time ever, Chris will discuss everything, and there’s no telling what he will have to say.”
The podcast, described as Chris’ comeback, will drop its first episode on January 9, 2023, and will be available on Apple Podcasts.