Some shocking news regarding The Bachelor franchise emerged on Saturday afternoon: host Chris Harrison is "stepping aside" after a week of turmoil. He shared the news via a statement on his Instagram page.
This move comes after Harrison did an interview with former The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay earlier this week. When asked about allegations of racist behavior from Rachael Kirkconnell of Matt James' season, he responded in a way that prompted a lot of pushback from both fans and former franchise contestants.
Kirkconnell apologized for her past actions via a social media statement a couple of days ago. Harrison himself did apologize for what he had said the day after the controversial interview. Now, he's acknowledging that was not enough.
"My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke. I set standards for myself, and have not met them," he wrote.
Harrison added that he has taught his children to own their actions and now he is trying to do the same.
"By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I involved the term 'woke police,' which was unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong," he added.
His social media post consisted of two slides filled with text. The Bachelor host directly noted that he was sorry to the BIPOC and Black communities for his harmful words. He said he apologized for his ignorance and was now truly listening.
Harrison added that he had a number of significant conversations over the past few days with people who helped him gain clarity. For now, he will step away from the franchise, but this does not sound permanent.
"This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions," he detailed.
At this point, Harrison indicated that he would not be involved with the upcoming "After the Final Rose" special for Matt's season. He shared that he was dedicated to getting better educated and ensured he would be actively pursuing this every day.
"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," he concluded.
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is expected that producers will soon move forward with filming both The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise to air in the coming months. Due to isolation precautions, the beginning stages of The Bachelorette production will likely kick off soon.
Will Harrison stay on as host for that, or will someone else cover those duties for now? This decision will surely generate a lot of talk among The Bachelor fans and former contestants, and many will be watching to see if he truly follows through.