In hot water. Bachelor host Chris Harrison is pulling back from the franchise after receiving backlash for his comments about contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist behavior during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, but is he leaving Bachelor Nation for good? See everything we know about his employment status below.
On February 13, the Texas native revealed he would be “stepping aside for a period of time” after he “consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC.” He will also not be appearing on Matt James’ After the Final Rose special for season 25.
“To the Black community, to the BIPOC 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,” Chris wrote via Instagram at the time.
“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before,” his statement continued. “I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: This is not just a moment but a commitment to [a] much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”
The leading man admitted it had been “challenging” dealing with the “incredibly disappointing” scandal surrounding Rachael and Chris.
“The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking, to put it bluntly,” Matt wrote, while noting Chris’ interview with Rachel on Extra was “troubling and painful to watch.”
“It was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years,” the real estate analyst continued. “I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from main the end.”
The Bachelor controversy began when a TikTok user accused Rachael, who is a frontrunner on season 25, of mistreating her during high school for “liking Black guys.” Other TikTok videos alleged the contestant “liked” racist social media posts that included the Confederate flag. Then, photos began circulating of Rachael attending an “Old South” antebellum-themed fraternity party in 2018.
Before Rachael released her own apology on February 11, which addressed the controversy surrounding her, Chris appeared on Extra to discuss it with Rachel on February 9. The host said the people holding the Georgia native accountable for her actions were the “woke police” and asked fans to offer Rachael “a little grace” and “understanding.”
The next day, on February 10, Chris released an apology for his statements. “I took a stance on topics about which Is would have been better informed,” he wrote at the time. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that, I am so deeply sorry … I promise to do better.”
Time will tell what the future of the franchise holds.