Rachel Lindsay Weighs in on Chris Harrison ‘Stepping Aside’ After ‘Extra’ Interview

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison

ABC/John Fleenor; Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison.

Rachel Lindsay is calling Chris Harrison’s choice to temporarily step down as the host of The Bachelor “the right decision” while discussing their controversial interview with Extra host Billy Bush.

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“He needs to take time to get educated on a profound and productive level to use his words,” explained the former Bachelorette. “And I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong in what he said in that interview. And he needs time, he needs to step away to do that.”

The interview in question saw the former Bachelorette, and the franchise’s first Black lead, ask Harrison to address accusations of racism against contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Harrison was accused of steamrolling Lindsay while defending racism. Amid cries and a Change.org petition calling for his firing, Harrison issued a second apology announcing his choice in “stepping aside” as host for at least the After the Final Rose special.

When discussing an antebellum-themed party Kirkconnell attended, Harrison asked “Is it a good look in 2018 or is not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.” Lindsay responded, “It’s not a good look ever.”

Kirkconnell has since apologized.

Addressing the audience on Extra, Lindsay said Harrison’s removal was not the goal, but airing the interview highlights “these uncomfortable conversations so we can understand the underlying issues and implicit racism that exist within our society.”

She continued, “Let’s not label, let’s not cancel, but let’s hold people accountable for their actions. Let’s set the example in this generation so that we don’t repeat the horrific mistakes from the past and so we can unify and be the change this country needs, to make this society better for the next generation.

Lindsay Reveals the One Question She Wishes She Had Asked Harrison

Lindsay revealed her focus was on not reacting during her interview with Harrison, “because I needed people to hear him and not the exchange between the two of us.”

Still, when Bush asked if she had any regrets, she admitted there was one question she would have asked.

“When he said ‘Was it not a good look there, or was it not, is it just now not a good look in 2021?’ I wish I would have said, ‘What do you mean by that and what was the difference in 2018?’” Lindsay explained. “He kept talking about this lens we were looking at in, looking through in 2018 versus 2021. I wish I would have asked him to explain that. I think that would have been all the difference.”

Lindsay Is Struggling to Accept Harrison’s Apology

When asked about Harrison’s two apologies, the first of which came within 24 hours of the interview, the Extra correspondent admitted, “it’s a little hard for me, because I lived the experience.”

She explained, “I walked away. There was no apology, the apology came after the fact. So it’s hard for me to fully accept it.”

Lindsay noted he was not “apologetic at first” even revealing she was not shocked by what he said given past conversations with Harrison. Rather, she was shocked he said it on camera.

“I’m not saying I can’t believe his apology. I’m not saying that I can’t get there. It’s just initially it’s a little tough for me,” she said.

The Bachelor Happy Hour podcast host, who has said she does not plan to renew her contract with the franchise, said Harrison’s future with the franchise should depend on what comes next.

She told Bush, “Am I disappointed? Absolutely. Do I agree with what happened in that interview? No, but he has taken the steps to not issue one, but two apologies. Let’s see what happens from there.”

However, she did question his ability to continue in the franchise since so many past contestants and leads have spoken out. This includes joint statements from all the contestants in season 25 of The Bachelor and season 16 of The Bachelorette.

“To see the contestants come together and speak out and to say what they don’t stand for, I don’t know how we continue in this way,” Lindsay added. “How do you, when people in Bachelor Nation are upset, the contestants of this very show, the leads of the show. How does he go on to represent the franchise when people are so upset by what they saw in that interview that we had.”

It remains unclear how long Harrison will be out as host or who will be his replacement.

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