Former Bachelorette Tayshia Adams thinks Chris Harrison did the right thing by temporarily stepping down from hosting The Bachelor following his defense of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist behavior. The longtime Bachelor host announced Saturday amid backlash for his comments that he would not be hosting the upcoming After the Final Rose special and would be taking time off from the show, apologizing for his comments.
Adams, who found love with Zac Clark on her season of the ABC show, reacted to the news on Thursday's episode of her podcast, Click Bait With Bachelor Nation, with Natasha Parker and Joe Amabile. "His words affected a lot of people, you know, myself included," Adams said, adding that she "absolutely" agrees with the decision for him to step down. "I think that by him taking ownership, and just not just saying issue an apology and then just going back to work the next day like nothing happened speaks volumes on his behalf."
Reading Harrison's statement, in which he apologized for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism," Adams said she felt he "actually meant what he was saying." She added that his "commitment to much greater understanding" also meant a lot to her because it was an acknowledgment that a commitment to anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement isn't just a trend, "it's a thing that's taking place every single day that we should actively try to partake in and better."
At the start of Matt James' ongoing season of The Bachelor, Kirkconnell was accused by a woman on TikTok of bullying her in the past for dating Black men. Another person on social media then dug up what were allegedly Kirkconnell's likes on racist photos, and photos of Kirkconnell herself attending an Old South plantation-themed party in 2018. Last week, Kirkconnell apologized for her actions, writing on Instagram, "At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."
Harrison, who defended Kirkconnell and asked for people to offer her "grace" in an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, would go on to say he was "ashamed over how uninformed" he was on the issue and apologized to Black and BIPOC communities. "The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time," Harrison wrote.