Chris Harrison ousted from ‘Bachelor’ over racism controversy
Chris Harrison, longtime host of “The Bachelor” franchise, has left the show for good, Deadline reports.
Rumors that the host would permanently exit after a 19-year run have been swirling since Harrison made controversial comments regarding race issues in February. His negotiations to leave the ABC franchise were reportedly finalized Tuesday.
Harrison will be walking away from his hosting duties with a mid-range eight-figure payoff, according to Deadline.
He acknowledged his exit in an Instagram post, writing, “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter.”
He added, “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Harrison’s reign as the face of the franchise came to an unofficial end after he came to the defense of “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who came under fire when pictures of her attending an Old South Antebellum Ball surfaced online.
“By excusing historical racism, I defended it,” Harrison later said in a statement. “I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.”
He was ousted from hosting the “After the Final Rose” special, replaced by former “Bachelorette” stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe as hosts for the show’s current season, which premiered Monday night and stars Katie Thurston.
Comedian David Spade is slated to host the summer installation of the franchise, “Bachelor in Paradise,” along with former contestant Wells Adams and actress Sarah Hyland, notes Cosmopolitan.
-Updated at 1:43 p.m.