Ever since Chris Harrison’s horrifying interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay went viral, many have called for his removal from the franchise for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s racist actions. The backlash comes after photos of Matt James’ frontrunner at an antebellum-themed Old South party resurfaced online and Harrison told Lindsay that Kirkconnell deserved “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion”. Harrison issued his first apology on Instagram a couple of days ago and now The Bachelor host announced that he will, in fact, be stepping down from Bachelor Nation.
“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful,” Harrison began his lengthy Instagram post before acknowledging that his “ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike.”
“I set standards for myself, and have to meet them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same. By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong,” he added.
He then addressed the Black community to the BIPOC community and apologized once again. “I am so sorry,” Harrison wrote. “My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you.”
Harrison then explained that he did not want his mistakes to overshadow Matt James’ historic season of The Bachelor as the first Black lead. And in response, he confirmed he “will be stepping aside for a period of time” and will not appear in the After the Final Rose special.
“I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day. From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man, and I humble myself before all of you. I hope I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself,” he concluded.
Matt James’ season is still currently airing and it will surely be interesting to see how The Bachelor chooses to address both Kirkconnell and Harrison’s racist behavior.
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