Chris Harrison Is Temporarily Stepping Away As Host Of “The Bachelor” After His Remarks About A Contestant’s Racist Past
Get ready to be legitimately shocked because Chris Harrison, who has hosted The Bachelor and its spin-off shows, like The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise, since 2002, has stepped away from the series because of an interview where he made some questionable remarks. While speaking with the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, Chris dismissed one of the current contestants’ highly-racist past as really nothing and called out instead the “woke police.” Ah yes, the people calling out the racism are wrong.
The Hollywood Reporter says this started with a contestant named Rachael Kirkconnell. Rachael is on this current season with the first Black Bachelor, Matt James. In the past, Rachael has liked Confederate Flag posts on social media, shared QAnon conspiracy theories, attended a “plantation-themed” college party in 2018, and dressed up as a Native American for a costume party. And while talking about this with Rachel Lindsey, Chris really stepped in it.
Rachel Lindsey, who is a correspondent on Extra, interviewed Chris for the show. Rachel has been outspoken about needing to diversify The Bachelor both in front of and behind the cameras since her season of the show in 2017. So Chris really should have expected questions about Rachael Kirkconnell, but he really went off the rails and downplayed having an “Old South” event. Oof, come on man. Even Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively had to step back from those whistful antebellum feelings. Chris said in part:
“Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference. Where is this lens we’re holding up and was this lens available, and were we all looking through it in 2018?”
Chris also blamed the “woke police” for bringing up Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racism. Here’s the full interview:
Many spoke out against Chris’ response to Rachael Kirkconnell’s actions, including Matt James. The backlash continued to grow for both Chris and Rachael and they both released statements.
Chris put out a non-apology for calling people “woke police” and said he was going to step back from the show to do some learning and wouldn’t appear on the finale after-show, After The Final Rose:
Rachael Kirkconnell also tossed up an apology. She can’t really be removed from the show or recast since filming is over, and she’s a frontrunner.
Reality Steve claims that Rachael makes the final two, so yeah, this is a mess. Hopefully, when Matt James makes that decision, ABC will cut to a clip of him saying, “Just an FYI, I regret all of this!” And I’m sure that ABC is going to be much more thorough while doing background checks on possible contestants. Cut to them announcing that the next Bachelor will be…. Morgan Wallen!