Inside Bachelor Nation's Reaction To The Chris Harrison Scandal

Who would have guessed that longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison would be the one to provide fans with the most shocking season ever, but sadly, this shock doesn't seem to be ending with a Neil Lane diamond. Harrison has been in hot water ever since he spoke with the first Black Bachelorette-turned-Extra correspondent Rachel Lindsay about Matt James' contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who sparked controversy after photos of her attending an "antebellum plantation themed-ball" in 2018 resurfaced and went viral, per the Daily Mail.

While speaking with Rachel, Harrison seemed to have Rachael's back and asked for "a little understanding" as he slammed today's cancel culture. However, to illustrate the severity of Rachael's actions, Rachel asked, "She's celebrating the old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?" Although Harrison seemingly understood Rachel's argument, he highlighted how people are doing the work to be more socially conscious today than they were just a few years ago.

Amid the backlash, Harrison issued an apology on Instagram, writing, "I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed," adding that he just wanted to give Rachael the opportunity to speak her truth. "What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism." Harrison then revealed that he is "stepping aside" from the franchise "for a period of time." Keep scrolling to find out what Bachelor Nation is saying. 

Bachelor Nation is denouncing racism

Following Chris Harrison's eyebrow raising remarks in defense of Rachael Kirkconnell, the contestant apologized on social media, stating, "I'm here to say I was wrong." She added, "At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist." Rachael later took to her Instagram Story to share a statement from the women on Matt James' season, which read that the contestants "denounce any defense of racism."

The men featured on Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams' season of the Bachelorette also issued a similar statement, adding that they stand with Rachel Lindsay. The Extra correspondent went on to share that she isn't renewing her contract with her Bachelor Happy Hour podcast and thinks it was "the right decision" for Harrison to step away, adding, "He needs to take time to get educated." Tayshia also spoke out about "the ignorance when it comes to race (via People)," stating that Rachael's actions were racist and adding that you "cannot be defensive of it." She continued, "I just have to say I am really hurt by this response."

Prior to the hubbub around Harrison, Matt spoke out about the Rachael controversy to Entertainment Tonight and asked people to give her "the benefit of the doubt." However, as of this writing, Matt has yet to address Harrison's remarks or his temporary exit from the franchise.

Black Bachelor Nation alums have a lot to say about Chris Harrison

Aside from those who have a stake in the scandal, several Black Bachelor Nation alums spoke out about Chris Harrison's remarks and his fate on the hit show. "I don't really think he should be allowed to return, but it's not up to me," Season 13 Bachelorette contestant DeMario Jackson told TMZ.  He went on to slam the show's "all-white production, all-white cast, all-white show, all-white fan base." DeMario added, "If they do want to have move forward and have a more Black fan base I would say it all starts within. Like, do you really want to have Black fans or do you want to just put that little Band-Aid over a bullet wound?"

Additionally, Season 20 Bachelor contestant Jubilee Sharpe told the outlet that she felt producers honed in on the white contestants "more than anyone else," per TMZ. However, more contestants seem to be calling for change more so than Harrison's expulsion. Marshana Ritchie, who appeared on Season 12 of The Bachelor, and Season 17's Leslie Hughes said Harrison "needs a long break, and a lot [of] education on Black history ... plus, sensitivity training before he returns," per TMZ

Season 10's Marquel Martin and Season 17's Robyn Jedkins, who both appeared on The Bachelor, think Harrison should get a second chance, but "he needs to do better at understanding the Black perspective before speaking on these issues again." As for Season 15's Mike Johnson, he wants to see Harrison put in the work to do better before his return. It sounds like Harrison better get started.