“The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison has announced that he is taking a break from the role following mounting backlash sparked by his comments about cancel culture.
What he said: Harrison faced the wrath of social media after his interview on “Extra” with “Bachelorette” alum Rachel Lindsay where he was asked about contestant Rachel Kirkcollin. Kirkcollin sparked criticism online after photos revealed that she attended a 2018 “antebellum-themed” party. Many accused her of engaging in racist behavior.
During the “Extra” interview, Harrison spoke out against cancel culture and pointed out that the attack on Kirkcollin might be unfair, given that the party took place three years ago.
“I have seen some stuff online, again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart, and diving into her and her parents voting record, it’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” the ABC host said.
“The picture was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party,” Rachel Lindsay told Harrison. “That’s not a good look.”
“Well, Rachel is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference,” Harrison responded.
His remarks spurred controversy and led to calls for his firing. The current female contestants on this season of “The Bachelor” also issued a statement condemning his comments.
“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.”
Harrison’s announcement: The host posted a lengthy statement on Instagram on Saturday, announcing that he is “stepping away” from his role for “a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”
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. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke,” he wrote.
“I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same. By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong,” the statement continued.
“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,” Harrison added.
Harrison previously apologized for his comments in a separate statement on Wednesday.
“I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics which I should have been better informed. 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,” he wrote.
“What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better,” Harrison concluded.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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