Michael Strahan doesn’t seem too convinced by Chris Harrison’s apology for defending a Bachelor contestant’s racist behavior. “It felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this,” Michael admitted, after his interview with Chris about the situation aired on Good Morning America. “Obviously, he’s a man who clearly wants to stay on this show, but only time will tell if there’s any meaning behind his words.”
EXCLUSIVE: “It was a mistake.” #TheBachelor host Chris Harrison apologizes for defending frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist social media posts, telling @michaelstrahan he is an “imperfect man” who is “committed to progress.” https://t.co/OfPBBzGd9s pic.twitter.com/0EgbKV99DV
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 4, 2021
During the interview, Chris apologized for diminishing the fact that contestant Rachael Kirkconnell attended an antebellum-themed party when she was in college. He admitted that he made a “mistake” when he excused Rachael’s past behavior during an Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay in February. However, he also insisted that what he said in the Extra interview does not represent who he is, and admitted that he plans to return to The Bachelor franchise.
In February, Chris announced that he would be “stepping aside” from his hosting duties for an undisclosed amount of time. So far, it has been confirmed that he will not be hosting After the Final Rose during the finale of The Bachelor, which airs on March 15. However, his departure appears to be temporary. “I plan to be back and I want to be back,” he explained. He also promised to continue doing the work to learn from his mistakes. “There is more work to be done and I am excited to be part of that change,” he concluded.
During the interview, it was revealed that Chris is working with race educators and strategists, as well as faith leaders and scholars. One of those leaders is Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who Chris said he has already learned from. “Dr. Dyson often talks to me about council, not cancel, and that is full accountability — understanding what you didn’t understand, owning that, learning from that, seeking counsel often in the community that you hurt, learning from them, listening, gaining experience, knowledge and moving forward,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Rachael Kirkconnell remains in the running to end up with Matt James on this season of The Bachelor. She has publicly apologized and taken accountability for her past actions. She has also insisted that fans do not defend her, and urged others to do the work to learn what she has after this scandal. “If you are a person who doesn’t understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use this as a teachable moment,” she explained in her apology post. “I want to put my energy towards preventing people from making the same offensive mistakes that I made in the first place, and hope I can prove this to you moving forward.”