Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of ABC's "The Bachelorette" after racial controversy surrounding the popular dating show.
Harrison stepped away from his TV role in February after apologizing for defending the actions of a contestant on "The Bachelor" that were racially insensitive and caused many to speak out against the controversy. During an interview on "Extra," Harrison defended "Bachelor" contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after past photos surfaced of her dressed in costume as a Native American and her at an antebellum plantation-themed ball.
Kirkconnell is currently a contestant on Matt James' season, who is the show's first Black 'Bachelor.'
“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,” Harrison wrote as part of his apology at the time.
Now, Harrison will extend his absence as he will not return for the next season of "The Bachelorette."
In Harrison's place, former 'Bachelorettes' Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will fill in, supporting the new 'Bachelorette' throughout the season.
ABC and Warner Horizon issued a statement about the decision, saying they support Harrison "in the work he is committed to doing" and will focus on making "The Bachelor" franchise more diverse—not just onscreen but throughout the crew and executive producer ranks.
Read the joint statement below:
Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of ‘The Bachelorette.’ We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season. As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.