After receiving backlash for defending current “Bachelor” contestant, Rachel Kirkconnel, Host Chris Harrison says that he will be taking some time away from the franchise.
“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” the host and producer of the ABC reality show said in an Instagram post. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”
Chris’ apologised on Wednesday, a day after the first Black bachelorette of the franchise Rachel Lindsay called out Harrison during her “Higher Learning” podcast and revealed she’s not renewing her contract because she’s “had enough.”
During a recent interview with Lindsay on “Extra,” Harrison came to Kirkconnell’s defense saying “we need to have a little grace.” Kirkconnell was facing backlash for liking Confederate flag-related TikToks and, more recently, for a resurfaced photo that appears to show her attending a plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful…. By excusing historical racism, I defended it,” Harrison said referencing his interview with Lindsay. “I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.”
The “Bachelor” host continued to apologise to the Black community and BIPOC for his harmful comments and thanked people from those communities who’ve engaged him in “enlightening conversations.”
Harrison ended his apology with a promise of doing better in the future and evolve into a better man.
“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 much greater understanding that I will actively make every day,” Harrison wrote. “From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man, and I humble myself before all of you. I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself.”