“Bachelor” Host Chris Harrison Steps Down Amid Controversy
Image of Chris Harrison via YouTube
The longtime host of the reality show “The Bachelor” Chris Harrison announced Feb. 13 he will be stepping down from after he received backlash for a comment he made using the term “woke police.”
The 49-year-old host was defending current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos resurfaced of her in 2018 attending a plantation-themed party.
On Feb. 13, Harrison took to Instagram with a statement saying he will no longer be working with the ABC franchise.
“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful,” Harrison said in the statement.
“My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke.”
The lengthy statement continued: “I set standards for myself, and have not met 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.”
“To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you,” he continued. “I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.”
Harrison noted he does not want his actions to interfere with the current season of “The Bachelor.”
“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before. 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.”
After discussing with Warner Bros. and ABC, Harrison officially said he would be stepping down from his duties with the reality show.
Harrison’s statement regarding leaving the reality show comes only days after the apology he posted Wednesday on Instagram.
“I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics which I should have been better informed,” Harrison said in his apology.
“While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf.”
“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,” Harrison said.
“I also apologize to my friend Rachel 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.”
Rachel Lindsay, “The Bachelorette” show’s first Black female lead, appeared in an interview with Harrison on Extra.
Lindsay said on her podcast to no longer work with the ABC franchise due to the company not being on the “right side” of the situation.