The Bachelor franchise is Harrison’ baby, so it’s no surprise he’s not a fan of a show that skewers his lifeblood — but Harrison says his problem with it is actually just that it’s very poorly done.
“Really, the main difference that I’ve seen is that people watch The Bachelor,” Harrison snipped about the show to Variety. “[UnREAL is] complete fiction. As much as they would love to jump on our coattails — they were begging for us to talk about it and for people to write about it — at the end of the day, no one is watching. I mean, absolutely nobody is watching that show. Why? It is terrible. It is really terrible.”
He doesn’t mind being satirized on shows like Saturday Night Live, because they are done well — but the Lifetime version is just bad, he said.
“You only do that when you are part of the vernacular. Because if not, you can’t make a joke. It’s a sign of respect,” he said. “The way that UnREAL took it, it wasn’t a sign of respect. They were trying to take it another direction, but it doesn’t work that way.”
In fact, he says he even enjoyed Ben Stiller’s parody series Burning Love. “I respected that because they used their skills to do that. But UnREAL is just a really bad attempt, and they got what they deserved, and that is no one is watching the show.”
UnREAL‘s Season 2 premiere in early July garnered a total of 815,000 viewers; The Bachelorette series finale for Season 11 nabbed 8.1 million viewers.