Chris Harrison has decided to step back from his role as the host of the Bachelor franchise for an unknown amount of time. The decision came after Chris made some racially insensitive comments during an interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay on ExtraTV.
Since his announcement, he has remained silent on social media. While he did sit down for a chat with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America on March 4, Chris has otherwise tried to keep himself completely out of the spotlight.
“I’m an imperfect man. I made a mistake. And I own that. I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise,” Chris said on Good Morning America. He added, “I plan to be back. And I want to be back. This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done. And I’m excited to be a part of that change.”
Some have been wondering if Chris and his girlfriend, Entertainment Tonight correspondent Lauren Zima, are still together. ScreenRant posed the following question in a February 21 report: Will Girlfriend Lauren Zima Stand By Chris Harrison Amid Backlash?
Fans of the franchise have been discussing Chris and Lauren’s relationship in depth on Reddit. A poll posted to the forum on February 14 asks users, “Do you think Lauren Zima will break up with Chris Harrison over this?” A majority of the roughly 4,200 voters chose the option, “Of course not.”
After photos surfaced this week showing the two grabbing a bite to eat, as seen here in this report from the Daily Mail, it seems fans have their answer.
Here’s what you need to know:
Chris & Lauren Are Still Together & People Seem to Have Split Opinions on the Matter
Someone took to Reddit to share a couple of photos showing Chris and Lauren heading to lunch together, adding the caption “well that there solidifies that they are still together.”
The thread has been fairly active, with many Redditors surprised to see that Lauren didn’t end things with Chris.
“Lauren is def relationship over career… which is kinda sad considering how hard she worked to get to her position. But in the sad world we live in, I doubt she’ll have any repercussions. I’m guessing ET put her on a paid extended leave. Please tell me I’m wrong tho.. I’m losing faith in humanity here,” one Redditor commented.
“I would’ve dumped his ass by now,” added another.
Several comments were posted in support of Lauren, however, with people saying that she shouldn’t be held responsible for Chris’s words.
“Not a fan of the shade towards Zima. She isn’t responsible for the words of her boyfriend. His actions are on him. I get why she took a break from everything, but I don’t like this idea that we need to punish the girlfriend too,” one comment reads.
“I also wish for her that people did not think she was exploiting a relationship for a career. I think she was an interesting and dynamic character as an entertainment journalist completely aside from her relationship with Chris Harrison. Her reporting about the bachelor extended before the CH relationship,” another person wrote.
Lauren Briefly Spoke out About Chris’s Controversial Comments
Lauren released a statement following Chris’s controversial interview.
“What Chris said was wrong and disappointing. Defending racism can never happen,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “Accountability comes first, what’s next is learning and growth,” she added.
Lauren hasn’t spoken out since that time and has not posted to her Instagram feed since March 10.