Chris Harrison announced Saturday that he would be “stepping aside for a period of time” as host of The Bachelor.
“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful,” Harrison wrote in a statement he issued on Instagram. “My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said the way I spoke. I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being.”
This news comes days after he issued an apology for calling on embattled contestant Rachael Kirkconnell to receive “grace” for recently surfaced photos of her at an “Old South” party, amid other accusations of racism, during an Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay.
“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” he said of this season, which sees Matt James’ as the franchise’s first Black Bachelor. “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.”
It is unclear at this point how long Chris Harrison will be gone as the host or who his replacement will be.
Harrison Apologized for ‘Excusing Historical Racism’
During the Extra interview when asked about Kirkconnell’s photos, Harrison asked Lindsay, “Is it a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.” She responded, “It’s not a good look ever.”
“That was not the case in 2018,” Harrison continued. “I’m not defending Rachael, I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went too. … Where is this lens we’re holding up and was this lens available, and were we all looking through it in 2018?”
Today, he apologized for “excusing historical racism.” He also addressed his use of the phrase “woke police” which many criticized him for using in condemnation of fans wanting Kirkconnell to be held accountable.
“To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry,” he continued. “My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you. I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.”
“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before. I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day,” he concluded. “From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man, and I humble myself before all of you. I hope I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself.”
Harrison Previously Issued an Apology
Within a day of the interview, Harrison issued an apology on social media. He wrote in part, “I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology.”
He continued, “While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realized I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.”
He promised “to do better,” a sentiment he reiterated in his latest apology.
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