Chris Harrison Reveals His Future With The Bachelor

Longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison found himself at the center of controversy after he defended Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell from allegations of racism in an interview with the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. In the interview, Harrison urged America to give Rachael "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," and suggested that her actions were more acceptable in 2018, which is when they occurred.

His defense did not sit well with listeners, and he was quickly met with a landslide of criticism, including calls for him to be fired from the Bachelor franchise. Harrison issued a prompt apology, saying his "intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering [Rachael] an opportunity to speak on her own behalf." He continued, "What I now realize I have done is cause harm for wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry."

Despite his apology, people were still unimpressed with his original comments. Many alumni from Bachelor Nation took to their social media accounts to condemn Harrison's words and offer support to Rachel Lindsay. Despite his apology, Lindsay said on her podcast she was not convinced that his apology was genuine.

Now, Harrison has issued another apology and updated Bachelor Nation about his future with the franchise.

Chris Harrison doesn't want to overshadow The Bachelor

In a statement on Feb. 13, 2021, Chris Harrison said he will be "stepping aside" from the franchise for "a period of time."

"I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. 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," he wrote in the lengthy announcement.

"I set standards for myself, and have to meet them... Now just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same," Harrison explained. "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." He continued to apologize for his words and for letting the Black community, and larger BIPOC community, down.

"The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special," he continued.

As of this writing, ABC has not announced who will be filling in for Harrison during the "After the Final Rose" special, which should tape at the end of February 2021, according to blogger Reality Steve.