Bachelor host Chris Harrison says he's 'stepping aside' temporarily after 'excusing historical racism'
Bachelor franchise host Chris Harrison is apologizing again for "the pain my words have caused." In a new statement posted Saturday, Harrison said he was "ashamed over how uninformed I was" during the Feb. 9 interview with former Bachelorette and Extra correspondent Rachel Lindsay. "I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke," said the host. Harrison also revealed that he'll be "stepping aside for a period of time" and will not be hosting the After the Final Rose special that will follow The Bachelor's season finale. "I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before." Read the full statement below:
Harrison first came under fire after his Extra interview last week. When Lindsay asked him about some racially insensitive past behavior from current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, the host defended Kirkconnell against what he called the "woke police" on social media. "We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. I've seen some stuff online, again this 'judge jury executioner' thing where people are just tearing this girl's life apart and diving into her parents and her parents' voting record," he told Lindsay. "It's unbelievably alarming to watch this."
Kirkconnell has since apologized for her "racist and offensive" past actions, which included attending a "plantation-themed party" in 2018. Lindsay, meanwhile, blasted Harrison in a Feb. 11 episode of the Higher Learning with Van Nathan and Rachael Lindsay podcast, and indicated that she will leave the franchise when her contractual obligations have expired: "I can't take it anymore."