Chris Harrison will no longer be a part of the “Bachelor” franchise and will not be returning as the host for any upcoming shows, according to Deadline. The report claims that Harrison will get a payout of 8-figures, and will have some sort of nondisclosure agreement attached. These legalities could be the reason he hired a lawyer back in mid-March.
“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,” Deadline reported on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
It is unclear if ABC decided to fire Harrison or if he made the decision to walk away on his own. He has not released a statement about his departure, and ABC has not confirmed Deadline’s report as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern on June 8.
The decision came four months after Harrison announced that he was stepping aside following an interview with Rachel Lindsay that left a bad taste in the mouths of many viewers. Shortly after this decision was made, some fans became even more adamant that Harrison be removed from the franchise completely.
Here’s what you need to know:
Harrison Previously Said He Planned on Returning to the Franchise
Back when Harrison first announced his decision to step away from the franchise, he wrote that it would be for a period of time, but didn’t specify how long.
“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 captioned an Instagram post.
In an interview with “Good Morning America” that aired on March 4, 2021, Harrison echoed that thought, saying that he believed he would return as the host.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” Harrison told “GMA” host Michael Strahan. “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. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it,” 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,” he added. “There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change,” Harrison added.
On March 12, producers of the ABC show confirmed that Harrison would not be hosting the new season of “The Bachelorette” starring Katie Thurston. The social media announcement also introduced former “Bachelorette” stars Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams as his replacements.
And, in early June, several outlets reported that David Spade would be one of several guest hosts heading to “Paradise” to take on Harrison’s role this summer.
Many Believe That Removing Harrison Is Only the First Step to Addressing the Franchises’ ‘Ongoing Race Problems’
Removing Chris Harrison as the host of the franchise is just one step to fixing the “ongoing race problems” that have been evident over the years. According to Vulture, the removal of Harrison is an “insufficient bandaid” — and while some feel this absolutely needs to happen, it’s only the start of what should follow.
“Removing Chris Harrison as the host of the show will not fix ‘The Bachelor’s’ ongoing race problems. Although he holds a position of power in the franchise, he’s still beholden to producers and network executives who shape and approve much of the show,” Vulture reports.
“He is a primary part of the franchise’s identity, and few franchises are more in need of an identity overhaul. Replacing Harrison would be a sign that the show’s producers do take racism seriously and are taking real steps to address it,” the outlet adds.
Many fans have expressed their feelings on these race issues, and have called for the representation of more people of color in every capacity that the show allows. These fans would like to see a more diverse cast, as well as more BIPOC leads moving forward.