The Tea on Chris Harrison 

Every Monday night, my roommates and I snuggle up in blankets, wine glasses in hand, and excitedly tune into The Bachelor. We eagerly watch as the drama unfolds between the contestants, which keeps us drawn to the television. While most of the drama occurs on screen during the show, last week, Chris Harrison, the Bachelor’s host, made headlines for his problematic and controversial comments during his interview with Rachel Lindsay. 

Lindsay, made history as the first black bachelorette, and is known for calling attention to systematic racism within The Bachelor franchise. Lindsay and Harrison discussed the racist past of Season 25 contestant, Rachel Kirckconell. He claimed Kirkconnell should be given “compassion” from The Bachelor viewers, despite her cultural appropriation of Native Americans and her attendance at an Antebellum-plantation themed ball - where she dressed as a symbol of white supremacy. The Antebellum period occurred right before the Civil War. During this period, wealthy white plantation owners dominated society and defined the ideals of southern white manhood and womanhood. These parties have received major criticism for their roots in slavery and racism. 

Following the interview, Harrison received backlash from fans and previous Bachelor contestants. Rachel Lindsay was “shocked” by these comments, and Ben Higgins stated The Bachelor is going to have to “confront” the Chris Harrison scandal. Harrison has recently stepped away from the franchise following his comments that supported Rachel Kirkconnell. Via his Instagram, he apologized after the interview, stating he “spoke in a manner that perpetuates racism” and is thankful he has been held accountable by Bachelor nation. 

While he is publicly taking responsibility for perpetuating racism, and promising to “evolve into a better man,” the damage of his comments cannot be erased. This incident speaks to a larger issue within the franchise, the blatant ignorance that continues to plague the show. Yes, it is important to own up to your actions, but the comments Harrison made should have never been said to begin with, especially coming from a white cisgender man. He has no idea how Native American people feel when they see white women appropriating their culture, nor will he ever be able to understand how horrifying it is to the African American community that people celebrate the “Old South,” through the Antebellum-themed ball. Mind you, she attended the Antebellum-themed ball in 2018 after her university banned “Old South” themed parties. 

In the future, the show should not provide a platform to individuals with problematic pasts. It is clearly irresponsible for The Bachelor franchise to provide publicity to such individuals with such questionable ideals.