Rumored New Bachelorette Weighs in on Chris Harrison’s Possible Return as Host

After the Final Rose

ABC/John Fleenor Chris Harrison.

STOP! Spoilers on season 17 of The Bachelorette ahead.

Katie Thurston is revealing where she stands on Chris Harrison’s possible return as host of Bachelor Nation.

“I stand with other alumni who have expressed that learning & growth require time,” the 30-year-old wrote on Twitter. “I hope that Chris Harrison continues to take more time to step away while sincerely educating himself & dedicating himself to the work. We can all grow and do better with time, and I hope he does.”

Could her tweet mean Harrison is out for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette? That remains to be seen, but Thurston is expected to be announced as the new lead of the dating competition on After the Final Rose according to Reality Steve. Her season is set to film later this month.

Harrison announced he was “stepping aside for a period of time” after admittedly “excusing historical racism” during an Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay. At the time, Thurston joined her fellow Bachelor castmates denouncing racism in the franchise and speaking out in support of Lindsay.

The author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho, stepped in as host for the pre-taped After the Final Rose special. Should Harrison not return, it is unclear if Acho would take over full-time.

Harrison Said He Wants to Return as Host During a ‘Good Morning America’ Interview

In his first interview since the controversy, Harrison spoke with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America.

“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,” Harrison told the morning host. He added, “I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise.”

The Bachelor Nation host issued an apology again to Lindsay and “the Black community.”

Since stepping away, Harrison said he has been working with “a race educator and strategist.” He said he has worked with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson about understanding “‘counsel’ not ‘cancel’” and learning from “the community that [he] hurt.”

When the morning show host asked Harrison if he was “the right person to lead this franchise into the future,” Harrison responded, “I plan to be back and I want to be back.”

However, Strahan called the apology “surface.”

Bachelor Nation Stars Have Spoken Out About Harrison’s Future in the Franchise

Since the interview, some Bachelor Nation fans and stars have spoken out, with recent contestants sharing their reticence to move forward in the franchise with Harrison at the helm.

Ivan Hall, who finished in Tayshia Adams’ top three contestants on The Bachelorette, and Serena Pitt, among Matt James’ final four on The Bachelor, have spoken out that they need more time before Harrison returns.

Hall told Daily Pop, “If they have future shows and if they were to ask me to be on Bachelor in Paradise or something like that – and I’m sure a lot of the other contestants feel this way as well – I wouldn’t feel comfortable if Chris is there, to be quite frank.”

He added that Harrison “needs to take some time” to really “understand why he believes the things he believes at this point in his life.”

As Pitt put it to Entertainment Tonight, Harrison’s return on The Bachelorette would be a “struggle because the amount of work that needs to be done here.”

She explained, “I would need to see the changes that have been happening in his life and the actions that he has taken and will be continuing to take moving forward, to feel comfortable welcoming him into The Bachelorette season.”

And it seems the controversies are proving to be a problem for casting, with Lindsay telling the Bachelor Party podcast that “several people of color” have “removed themselves” after being cast.

Bekah Martinez and Taylor Nolan, who is embroiled in her own scandal, have continually spoken out for Harrison’s permanent removal.

READ NEXT: Reality Steve Reveals A ‘Curveball’ in the Upcoming ‘Bachelorette’ Announcement

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