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The Bachelor's Chris Harrison Announces He's ‘Stepping Aside’ From Franchise Amid Racism Controversy

Chris Harrison Leaving The Bachelor

Following a controversy where host Chris Harrison admitted to “perpetuating racism,” The Bachelor host has decided to step aside from the franchise “for a period of time.”

In an Instagram post published Saturday, Harrison wrote, “The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. 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… I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.”

During a recent Extra interview hosted by Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette, Harrison and Lindsay discussed photos of Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell — currently vying for the heart of Matt James, the franchise’s first Black Bachelor — attending an Antebellum party three years ago. She has since taken the photos off of social media and disabled the comments option. Because of the painful and racist history the pre-Civil War Antebellum South and slavery triggers, many have shunned romanticizing the era and its images. (Kirkconnell has since apologized.)

Instead of commenting about the problematic nature that Kirkconnell’s past racial insensitivities create, Harrison defended her reputation and lambasted what he called “cancel culture.”

“This ‘judge, jury, executioner’ thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her parents’ voting record … it’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” a visibly frustrated Harrison told Lindsay. “You know, I saw a picture of her at a sorority show five years ago, and that’s it.”

In wake of the backlash, Harrison apologized on Twitter Wednesday writing, “I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachael Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”