It’s Official: Chris Harrison Is Exiting ’The Bachelor’ Franchise After 19 Years Following Racism Controversy

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Photo credit: Eric McCandless - Getty Images
Photo credit: Eric McCandless - Getty Images

Update, June 8, 2021:

Bachelor Nation fans...it’s time to say sayonara to Chris Harrison. This time, for good—Deadline first reported that Chris is officially exiting The Bachelor franchise and is getting a HEFTY check in exchange for his silence. “Harrison will receive a rose of his own in the form of mid-range eight-figure payoff and promise to keep his mouth shut,” the report reads.

Chris himself confirmed the news in an Instagram later the same day: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote. “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.”

ABC is apparently in no rush to replace Chris, and according to Deadline, Chris and his team saw the premiere of Katie Thurston’s season as a sort of deadline for negotiations with WBTV and ABC to conclude their financial agreement. The new report also says:

“The confidential settlement with franchise producers and distributor Warner Horizon was finally reached after one more flurry of back and forth between the parties and Bachelor broadcaster ABC on Monday night. A motivational undercurrent, so to speak, throughout was Harrison lawyer Bryan Freedman pledging to unleash the Shiva of lawsuits exposing a swath of The Bachelor’s alleged dirty laundry unless his Gersh-repped client emerged feeling the financial love.”

Would truly love to know what massive dirt Chris is sitting on to get such a nice settlement check, but it sounds like he’ll be taking that with him to the ring graveyard!

Original Story, June 3, 2021:

ICYMI, Chris Harrison is nowhere to be seen these days in The Bachelor franchise. He was notably absent in the “After the Final Rose” special for Matt James’s season of The Bachelor. Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe took his place while filming Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette. And now, he isn’t returning to host Bachelor in Paradise this year...so where is Chris Harrison and why hasn’t he returned?

To put it lightly, Chris found himself in a sh*t ton of hot water after making some pretty insensitive comments during an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. At the time of the interview, Matt’s season winner Rachael Kirkconnell was in the middle of a controversy after racist photos of her attending an Antebellum, Old South–themed party circulated online. When talking about the photos in question, and Chris defended Rachael’s choice to participate and said she was simply having fun at an event.

Here’s what Chris said, in full:

“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, and this is where we need to have a little grace...because I have seen some stuff online—this judge, jury, executioner thing—where they’re just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her parents and her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this. I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet, and until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this? I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that’s it.

“I’m not defending Rachael—I just know that 50 million people who did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to.

“My guess? These girls got dressed and went to a party and had a great time. They were 18 years old. Does that make it okay? I don’t know, Rachel, you tell me...but where is this lens we’re holding up and was that lens available and were we all looking through it in 2018?’”

After receiving backlash for his comments, Chris apologized for his words and announced he was going to step back from The Bachelor franchise for an unspecified amount of time.

Three weeks after Chris issued his apology, he hopped on Good Morning America to discuss the controversy and address when he’d be making his return to the franchise.

He said, “I plan to be back and I want to be back. And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change. I know that change is felt, not just by me, but by many others. And we are excited and willing to do the work to show that progress...This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change.”

Since then, there’s been no official word of if/when Chris will be returning to host anything Bachelor related, but stay tuned to see if he’ll make his return for Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette or season 26 of The Bachelor.

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