Chris Harrison, the longtime host of The Bachelor, has decided to quit the reality show. Harrison landed himself in controversy after he was questioned on Extra by the former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay about his thoughts on the photos of ongoing season 25 of the popular dating reality series, Rachael Kirkconnell.
The pictures showed Kirkconnell attending an antebellum-plantation-themed party. Harrison replied, “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I have seen some stuff online — this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents, her parents’ voting record.”
He added, “It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this. I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this? I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago and that’s it.”
As soon as the interview aired, people on social media started demanding that Harrison should be dropped from the show. A Change.org petition has more than 39,00 signatories.
Harrison wrote in an Instagram post, “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. 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.”
He also admitted that he excused historical racism and regretted invoking the term “woke police.”
He addressed the Black, Indigenous, and people of color community (BIPOC) and said that his words were “harmful” and that he is listening and confesses his ignorance.
“I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism,” he said.