Chris Harrison Won’t Resign from ‘The Bachelor’ After Racism Controversy

GMA

“Bachelor” host Chris Harrison has announced he will not permanently step down from his position after making controversial, racist statements last month.

Harrison told “Good Morning America” anchor Michael Strahan that he made a mistake when he defended current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past behavior. Kirkconnell faced backlash when pictures surfaced of her attending an antebellum-themed party, as well as posing in front of a Confederate flag.

On Feb. 9, Harrison sat down with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay, the series’s first Black lead. In discussing the images, the host controversially implied that perhaps it was Kikconnell who was being victimized.

I’m not defending Rachael,” Harrison told Lindsay. “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.”

His statements were met with criticism, causing Harrison to step back from his current season’s hosting duties. Despite its two-decade run, this season featured the first Black “Bachelor” — Matt James. 

Harrison apologized for his statements on Instagram on Feb. 10, stating he wrongfully spoke in a manner that perpetuated racism. He issued another statement on Feb. 13, at which time he stated he’d back stepping away from the franchise.

“The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” Harrison wrote. “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.”

Television host and author Emmanuel Acho has been tapped to host the “After the Final Rose” special, which will air after the season finale on March 15. Harrison has been the sole host of “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs since the show first aired in 2002.

Are you excited to hear Harrison will be returning to the franchise? Do you think his apology was sincere? Let us know if you’ll be tuning in when he rejoins the series!