The Most! Dramatic! Season! Ever! - is Chris Harrison Gone Forever?

It might actually be the most. dramatic. season….ever!

 

Over the last month, Matt James’ season of The Bachelor has sparked controversy, but not due to the usual show drama. This season, which was already creating buzz for it’s front man being the first Black Bachelor, along with the large group “mean girls”, has now led to the temporary stepping down of the franchise’s long-time host, Chris Harrison. If this is news to you, then you definitely haven’t seen the interview he had with Rachel Lindsay, a correspondent for Extra, and the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette back in 2017. 

 

Their conversation consisted of a discussion about the controversy surrounding Rachael Kirkconnell, a contestant on this season (who is still in the running, btw). After Kirkconnell’s appearance on the show, photos of her surfaced, most notably ones attending an Antebellum South themed college party in 2018. If you don’t know, the Antebellum period in history was a racist one when slavery was prominent in the United States (so...there are obvious issues with having that as a party theme). Rachael has since released a (long awaited) statement and also a video apologizing for her actions and promising to become more educated and do better in the future on her Instagram page. 

 

During their Extra interview, Rachel Lindsay asked Chris Harrison to comment on the photos and denounce the racist actions of Kirkconnell; he replied by saying, “Well, Rachel, is it not a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.” His responses (which were handled quite gracefully by Rachel Lindsay, might I add) during this conversation led to disappointment from Bachelor Nation, including responses by several of the franchise’s alum; Tayshia Adams, the most recent Bachelorette, took to Instagram stories to share her disbelief. She said, “Watching that interview [with Chris Harrison], my eyes were wide open. My jaw was kind of to the floor, just because it was an ongoing conversation that was filled with so much defense…” 

 

Fellow alum Mike Johnson, who was on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, was also interviewed by Rachel Lindsay for Extra. He stated in the interview that he believes that Harrison should be removed from the franchise for his comments, but that he does not believe in “cancel culture”. He said, "I think that when we cancel people, it's almost too easy. I feel that those individuals that have done something wrong need to say it with their chest, in other regards, as well...Once they've been educated and learn in a public forum in comparison to riding the waves with millions of dollars and just never to be heard from again… I don't want to cancel the individual, I want the individual to speak up, speak to their audience, and curb their mindset." 

 

The current Bachelor also released a statement regarding the issue via Instagram. In part, he said, “Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch.” 

 

As of right now, it is unclear how much time Chris Harrison will be spending away from Bachelor Nation. We know that he will not be hosting After the Final Rose, and it was confirmed on February 27 that his replacement for ATFR will be Emmanuel Acho. A former NFL linebacker, Acho now works for Fox Sports 1 as an analyst. Oh, and he’s also a New York Times Best Selling Author, no biggie. He confirmed on his Instagram that he will be assuming the hosting responsibilities for the highly anticipated post-season episode, saying that “It is an honor and privilege” to be hosting the show. 

 

Hopefully, the events of the last few months will serve as a wake up call for the popular franchise to take ownership of their mistakes and also take action in order to use their power and platform to make a change for the better.