Bachelor host Chris Harrison is addressing the controversy surrounding him in light of his Extra interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, during which he defended current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's alleged pre-show racist actions. Harrison is set to appear on Good Morning America on Thursday to speak about the scandal with anchor Michael Strahan. Us Weekly obtained a preview of the interview, during which Harrison says that he made a "mistake."
During the interview, which was reportedly recorded on Wednesday, Harrison explains, "It was a mistake," in reference to the controversial interview with Lindsay. He went on to say, "I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake. And I own that." As Bachelor fans are likely aware, this drama originally started in early February, after Harrison tried to defend Kirkconnell's alleged pre-show racist actions, including her attendance at an "antebellum plantation themed" fraternity formal in 2018, after Lindsay brought them up during the interview.
Harrison tried to downplay the accusations and even questioned Lindsay about whether it [the attendance at the fraternity formal] wasn't a "good look" in 2018, when it happened, or in 2021, amidst growing calls for racial justice and equality. Lindsay replied that it's "not a good look ever." Following the interview, Harrison released an apology (Kirkconnell has also issued an apology amid the racism controversy). His statement read, "I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about 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. 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."
Harrison went on to extend an apology to Lindsay and ended his message by promising to "do better." In a subsequent statement, he revealed that he would be taking a step back from the franchise amidst this scandal. As a result, he will not be hosting the After the Final Rose special that airs after the finale. Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker and the author of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, has been tapped to take his place. At the moment, it's unclear whether Harrison will have a role in the Bachelor franchise moving forward.