Chris Harrison, the host of the popular ABC franchise the Bachelor, will step away from his duties for an indefinite amount of time after receiving a tremendous amount of backlash online following his comments defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after images emerged online of her attending a ‘racist, old south’ event in 2018.
In a statement released to the public, Harrison insisted that he will ‘educate’ himself on the issues of racism before any potential return to the show.
What’s the situation?
Harrison defended the actions of the Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos surfaced online of her attending an ‘old south’ themed party on a plantation dressed in a Native American costume back in 2018.
Kirkconnell apologized for attending the event, self-stating that her actions were ‘racist and offensive’.
She pledged a commitment to ‘continue to learn how to be antiracist’ whilst apologizing to all of the communities she had allegedly offended.
Harrison defended her in an interview with the Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay, who was the first black female lead on the show, but soon apologized for this defense after he received huge backlash online.
Harrison announced he was stepping back from his role on the hit ABC show, citing that he has spent many days thinking about the pain his words have caused.
He said in a lengthy post on Instagram that his words caused harm to ‘friends, colleagues and strangers alike’, adding that he is incredibly remorseful.
Harrison begs for forgiveness
He continued on by saying that he did not live up to the standards that he has set himself and the standards that he passed onto his children, whilst also saying the fact that he invoked the term ‘woke police’ makes him misinformed.
Harrison then moved onto beg forgiveness from the communities that he hurt with his words, whilst thanking those ‘who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism’.
He then moved onto to say that he will not be re-joining the show for the After the Final Rose special, citing that this decision was consulted with both ABC and Warner Bros.
Harrison pleaded to fans not to let his actions ruin how they view the show’s finale, as he takes on his path of re-education and antiracism.
The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, whose interview with Harrison led to him receiving so much backlash, has also stated that she will be leaving the ABC franchise when her contract has expired, saying that ‘when it’s up, I am too, I can’t do it anymore’.
Neither ABC nor Warner Bros have released a statement regarding the situation.