Chris Harrison Leaves ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise For Good After Racism Controversy

After 'stepping aside' from Bachelor Nation for season 17 of 'The Bachelorette,' ABC has confirmed Chris Harrison has left the franchise after 19 years as the host.

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UPDATE: (6/9/21, 8:00 a.m. ET): On the June 8 episode of Extra,  Rachel Lindsay broke her silence about Chris’s exit from the franchise. “I wasn’t expecting for it to happen, not after the announcement,” she admitted. “I think several past contestants coming forward and saying they didn’t want him to be part of Paradise [was part of it]. I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before she went to film her season was that Chris needs to step away. I think that, coupled with the interview that happened on this very stage [about Rachael Kirkconnell], maybe led to him not coming back.”

UPDATE: (6/8/21, 1:45 p.m. ET): Chris posted the following statement on Instagram after the news that he’s leaving The Bachelor franchise was confirmed: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”

UPDATE: (6/8/21, 1:00 p.m. ET): “Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a statement on June 8.

ORIGINAL: Chris Harrison is officially out as host of The Bachelor and its spinoff shows, like The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, Deadline first reported. The outlet claimed that Chris had exited the franchise “for good.” After a controversy earlier this year, Chris took a step back from his hosting gigs and did not return for season 17 of The Bachelorette.

Chris has been host of Bachelor Nation since The Bachelor first premiered in 2002. However, while the show’s 25th season was airing earlier this year, he became embroiled in a controversy after he failed to publicly condemn a contestant’s past racist actions. In early 2021, Rachael Kirkconnell, who was a contestant on season 25, was called out for photos that showed her attending an antebellum-themed party while she was in college. When Chris was asked about the controversy in an interview, he defended Rachael.

chris harrison
Chris Harrison hosting ‘The Bachelor.’ (ABC)

The backlash immediately began pouring in after Chris’s February interview. Fans called Chris out for giving Rachael a pass, rather than acknowledging that she should have known better than to attend an event that glorified a time period where racism was prevalent. He apologized, but the damage had been done.

By the end of February, Chris confirmed he would be “stepping aside” from the franchise. He was replaced by Emmanuel Acho as host of After the Final Rose on season 25 of The Bachelor, which aired in March. Chris also did not come back for season 17 of The Bachelorette, which aired on June 7. There, he was replaced by Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams.

chris harrison
Chris Harrison on ‘The Bachelor.’ (ABC)

Earlier this week, it was reported that Chris wouldn’t be back for the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise, either. Instead, it’s expected that there will be a rotating slew of guest hosts, including David Spade, who will fill in. The longtime host reportedly reached a settlement with Warner Bros. on June 7, leading to his exit from the franchise for good, according to Deadline.

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