Chris Harrison Is "Stepping Aside" From the 'Bachelor' Franchise

This just in: Chris Harrison is “stepping aside for a period of time” from the Bachelor franchise. The surprising news comes days after he issued an apology statement after defending Rachael Kirkconnell’s racist actions. The controversy began after screenshots surfaced of Rachael at an antebellum-themed plantation party in 2018 that celebrated the old South while attending college in Georgia. Chris received backlash for his comments during an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay and is now ending his hosting duties for an unknown period of time.

“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike,” he wrote in a lengthy statement shared on Instagram. “I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke.”

Read the full statement below:

A post shared by Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison)

Rachael also released a statement apologizing for her past actions. Other members of Bachelor Nation have also come forward to support Rachel and other BIPOC people. “We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism,” Michelle Young, a current contestant on Matt James’s season of The Bachelor, posted a statement on behalf of the women participating in season 25:

“We are the women of ‘Bachelor’ Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change,” the statement read. “We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized.”

The statement continued, “Rachel Lindsay continues to advocate with “grace” from individuals who identify as BIPOC within this franchise. Just because she is the loudest, doesn’t mean she is alone. We stand with her, we hear her, and we advocate for change alongside her.”

ABC has yet to make a statement regarding the controversy.

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