Chris Harrison Leaves ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise For Good

Entertainment Tonight

Just hours after the Season 17 premier of The Bachelorette on Monday, longtime host Chris Harrison announced that he would not return from his leave of absence from the franchise. He was facing some pretty serious criticism back in February, for defending The Bachelor Season 25 contestant, and winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, who was herself being criticized for a racially insensitive past. That’s enough drama to make your head spin and I don’t think anyone would have been terribly surprised if the 49-year-old Harrison had retired right then and there. Instead, he chose to take a leave of absence and on March 4th, shared his feelings on returning to the franchise, saying: 

I plan to be back and I want to be back. And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change. I know that change is felt, not just by me, but by many others. And we are excited and willing to do the work to show that progress. This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change.

In light of the recent announcement that he is NOT coming back, I have to wonder what changed between then and now. Did he mean all of that when he said it but something is different now? Was it all a script he used to get through the situation until a severance package could be settled upon and he could “take the money (all EIGHT figures of it…) and run,” so to speak?  What did other members of the franchise think about all of this? Katie Thurston shared her opinion with Entertainment Tonight on the night of the Bachelorette’s Season 17 premier:

 

Notice how she swerves right around that question and refocuses the conversation on her upcoming season? You gotta wonder what she really wants to say here. Honestly, the drama surrounding this situation might be even more exciting than that of the show itself! We’re in our own little season finale and Chris Harrison just gave his rose to retirement. At least, retirement from this specific franchise. This leaves me wondering what he will do next.

How do you feel about Harrison retiring from the franchise? Does this change whether you will watch? What do you think his next career move could be? Let us know your thoughts!