Chris Harrison, 52, hosted The Bachelor and its many spinoff shows for almost two decades before he abruptly left the franchise. Chris stopped hosting The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise in June 2021 after a racism controversy involving former contestant Rachel Lindsay. Chris was been replaced as host of The Bachelor shows, and he’s moved onto a new opportunity in his career.
So, what is Chris Harrison up to now? His career took a major turn after his 19-year job came to an end. Here’s what you need to know about Chris’ future after his exit from Bachelor Nation.
What Is Chris Harrison Doing Now?
Chris remained very under the radar after he left Bachelor Nation in June 2021. A year and a half later, Chris announced his new podcast, The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever with Chris Harrison, where he spoke about his exit from the franchise for the first time publicly. “I was heartbroken. I was gutted. I was embarrassed. I was mad at myself,” Chris said on the first episode of his podcast, released in January 2023. “I was disappointed in myself. The last thing in the world I ever wanted to do was be an agent of anything negative — whether it had to do with race or anything.”
The former TV host also said he was “sick to my stomach” and lost 20 pounds over the controversy. “I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I was scared to death. It was just one gut-punch after the other, and mentally and physically I deteriorated pretty bad,” he revealed.
Chris has welcomed a slew of reality TV stars on his podcast, including Bachelor Nation’s Clare Crawley, Ben Higgins, and Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici Lowe. He’s also had Real Housewives stars like Cynthia Bailey, Kelly Dodd, and Vicki Gunvalson onto his show.
There’s also been major developments in Chris’ personal life since he left The Bachelor. He got engaged to his girlfriend Lauren Zima in October 2021. Chris met Lauren when she was covering Bachelor Nation shows for Entertainment Tonight. They started dating in 2018, and got engaged three years later. Chris was previously married to his high school sweetheart, Gwen Harrison, and they had two kids together.
Why Did Chris Harrison Leave ‘The Bachelor’?
Chris left Bachelor Nation in June 2021 after his racism controversy. It all started during the airing of The Bachelor‘s 25th season (starring Matt James) when Chris failed to publicly condemn contestant Rachael Kirkconnell‘s past racist actions. Rachael was called out for photos that showed her attending an antebellum-themed party while she was in college in 2018. When Chris was asked about the controversy in a February 2021 interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, he defended Rachael. Chris was met with immediate backlash so he apologized, but the damage had been done.
In Feb. 2021, 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 2021. Chris also did not come back for season 17 of The Bachelorette, which premiered in June 2021. There, he was replaced by Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams. In March 2021, Chris apologized for his actions in an interview with Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan. “I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” Chris said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise.”
Chris’ permanent exit from the franchise was announced on June 8, 2021. “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,” he said in a statement on Instagram.
Will Chris Harrison Ever Return to Bachelor Nation?
Jesse Palmer currently serves as the host of all The Bachelor shows. Jesse is a former professional football payer turned sportscaster and was the leading man on season 5 of The Bachelor. In February 2023, reports surfaced that claimed ABC was looking into having Chris return as the host of the franchise amidst the shows’ dipping ratings. Chris addressed the rumor on the February 20 episode of his podcast, and said he’d “never say never” to returning to his old job.
“I think it would almost be crazy not to [consider a change] if you’re running a business, any business at all, and that business sales are down 50 to 60 percent and falling,” Chris said. “Everybody can see the numbers, we know what’s happening, and you think there’s something that could change that and fix that? Of course, you’re going to have that conversation. You would be crazy not to have that conversation.”
In March 2023, Rachel Lindsay claimed that Chris’ team started the rumor that he was returning to the franchise. “I mean, he’s got a podcast to promote, it’s something to talk about, you know what I mean? she said on Watch What Happens Live. “There’s no way,” she added of Chris allegedly being considered to come back. “They went through so much with what was going on with everything and the fallout. There’s no way they would have those conversations.”