Chris Harrison to Step Away From ‘The Bachelor’ After ‘Harmful’ Comments

Chris Harrison, the longtime host of “The Bachelor,” introduced on Saturday that he could be “stepping aside for a period of time” from the flagship actuality tv present, which he helped develop right into a nationwide obsession, after coming underneath fireplace for making feedback that he acknowledged had been dismissive of racism.

In an Instagram put up, Mr. Harrison mentioned he had made the choice after consulting with ABC and Warner Bros. and would additionally not take part within the “After the Final Rose Special.”

Media representatives for ABC, which broadcasts the present, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. It was not clear what precisely Mr. Harrison’s “stepping aside” would entail.

The transfer by Mr. Harrison and the controversy surrounding his remarks are doubtless to ship shock waves by means of “Bachelor” Nation and dampen a trailblazing season that options the primary Black bachelor, Matt James.

The tangled situation that resulted in Mr. Harrison’s statement Saturday was ignited by his interview with Ms. Lindsay and involves Rachael Kirkconnell, a current contestant on the show whom many believe to be a front-runner.

In recent weeks, Ms. Kirkconnell has faced scrutiny on social media platforms from users who have produced offensive photos and other materials, including a post in which she “liked” a photo with a Confederate flag, and a photo of her attending an “Old South” plantation-themed ball.

Ms. Lindsay asked Mr. Harrison about the controversy surrounding Ms. Kirkconnell, and Mr. Harrison issued a staunch defense.

He called for “grace” and assailed Ms. Kirkconnell’s critics as being “judge, jury, executioner.”

“People are just tearing this girl’s life apart,” he said. “It’s just unbelievably alarming to watch this.”

At one point in the interview, Mr. Harrison appeared to downplay the significance of a photo that purported to show Ms. Kirkconnell at the “Old South” antebellum-themed party, drawing pushback from Ms. Lindsay, who at 31 was cast as the first Black star of “The Bachelorette” in a season that aired in 2017.

Mr. Harrison then offered his fuller apology on Saturday in the post in which he announced he was stepping away from the show for an unspecified amount of time.

But in this case, in a rare show of solidarity, past contestants came together to speak up. For instance, the men of Season 16 of “The Bachelorette” came together to make a statement.

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