'Bachelor' Host Chris Harrison Exits Franchise After Race Controversy

Chris Harrison's time with the Bachelor franchise is at an end. According to reporter Matthew Belloni, former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, Harrison will no longer be the host of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette going forward. The news was first reported in Belloni's What I'm Hearing... newsletter, and later confirmed by Harrison on Instagram.

"I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime," Harrison wrote in the caption of a photo on Instagram.

Belloni's newsletter, published on Sunday, hinted that Harrison will not return to the Bachelor franchise. The reporter noted that Harrison is allegedly negotiating his exit at the moment, confirmed later by the IG post. It is said that the longtime host was reportedly hopeful that he would return at some point. However, his negotiations with ABC and producer Warner Bros. have apparently not been successful. Amid these negotiations, Harrison and his Gersh team hired Bryan Freedman, a litigator, to handle the situation. At this point, it's unclear whether Warner Bros. will write Harrison a check in light of his exit from the franchise or whether the situation will devolve into further litigation, as Belloni reported.

Harrison has reportedly been questioning the legality of his "sidelining" from Bachelor Nation. During his discussions with higher-ups about his future with the ABC staple, the former host shared that he had some information on Mike Fleiss, the creator of the franchise, that could paint him in a damaging light. Considering that these negotiations have taken this turn, there's no telling how this matter will ultimately be resolved.

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Harrison announced that he was taking a step back from the Bachelor franchise earlier this year. His announcement came shortly after he came under fire for defending Rachael Kirkconnell's alleged pre-show racist actions during an interview with Extra conducted by former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay (who was the franchise's first Black lead). He subsequently apologized and went on Good Morning America to further discuss the incident. He told host Michael Strahan, "I am 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. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it."

In light of his comments during the interview, it was announced that other individuals would be hosting the upcoming seasons of both The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. The Bachelorette, which premieres on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET, will be hosted by two former Bachelorettes — Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams. As for Bachelor in Paradise, there will be a rotating list of celebrities who will host the series. It has already been announced that Saturday Night Live alum David Spade would host Bachelor in Paradise, which premieres this August, for two weeks.