Chris Harrison has had a bit of time to reflect on his exit from the ‘Bachelor’ franchise, and now he is finally ready to talk about it.
Harrison’s career would experience a bunch of thorns in early 2021; after nearly two decades in the spotlight as the face and host of the ‘Bachelor’ franchise, Harrison stepped down from his duties following his controversial outlook on the situation involving Matt James’ eventual final pick for his season, Rachael Kirkconnell.
Kirkconnell was under fire after old college photos surfaced, featuring her in attendance at an antebellum south-themed fraternity party.
Harrison would later comment on the resulting backlash Kirkconnell would receive in an Extra interview, conducted by Rachel Lindsay.
“This is a time where we need to have a little grace, a little understanding, and compassion because I have seen some stuff online… again, 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… it’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” Harrison would tell Lindsay in the interview. “I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet! And until I hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
After Lindsay would bring up the photos and the resulting reception Kirkconnell would receive from Bachelor Nation, she would point out why the photos were such a big deal to Harrison, who seemingly did not understand why the backlash had been so strong.
“It’s not a good look,” Lindsay would explain.
“Well, Rachel, is it a ‘good luck’ in 2018, or is it not a ‘good look’ in 2021?” Harrison would respond.
Harrison Would Soon Apologize To Lindsay And Bachelor Nation Following His Comments
View this post on Instagram
The resulting backlash Harrison would face was strong, to say the least.
“To my Bachelor Nation family,” Harrison would write in his Instagram apology, “I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology.”
Harrison would apologize to Lindsay for his wrongdoing. At the time of Lindsay’s lead season of “The Bachelorette” and the pair’s “Extra” interview, she had been the only Black woman to ever lead in the franchise. Michelle Young would later have her own season of “The Bachelorette,” airing the same year as Harrison’s Bachelor Nation exit.
Lindsay would speak out about Harrison’s multiple apologies in an episode of her podcast “Higher Learning.”
“I do accept this apology, and I think it’s important for me to say that, because I haven’t really talked about, you know, Chris and the statement, because I’m really trying to make this into a ‘Chris-versus-Rachel…” Lindsay said. She also revealed Harrison’s second apology would occur in an interview with Good Morning America.
Matt James would also later reflect on the incident. He and Kirkconnell ultimately decided not to get engaged at the end of the season, but their decision did not negatively affect their relationship; the pair are still together today.
“My relationship had been made into a sideshow,” James told the Los Angeles Times, “a complete circus. Rachael and I have moved on. We’re one of the only couples from the franchise still going strong. The reason is we’re going at things at our own pace. We’re not playing games a lot of people play just to stay in that circle.”
Harrison Has Moved On Too, And He’s Talking About The Experience On A New Podcast
View this post on Instagram
Nearly two years after his Bachelor Nation exit and Extra interview, Harrison is re-entering ‘that circle,’ so to speak.
Last month, The Blast shared the news Harrison was launching a podcast and would discuss his exit from the franchise.
“The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever” would launch its first two episodes on Monday, January 9th. While it was known practically right off the bat Harrison would discuss his exit, he would go in-depth for the first time on the subject.
“I was heartbroken,” Harrison said. “And I was gutted. I was embarrassed. I was mad at myself. I was disappointed in myself. The last thing in the world I ever wanted to be was be an agent of anything negative,” he continued via Us Weekly. “Whether it had to do with race, or anything, the fact I was involved in this and that I had a big part in this, I do own that.”
Jesse Palmer would later replace Harrison as the franchise’s permanent host. Past ‘Bachelorettes’ Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe temporarily took over hosting duties before Palmer stepped into the position.
Harrison would also add that “things definitely spun out of control for a number of reasons” following the incident.
A listener would tweet, “Chris Harrison STILL. DOESN’T. GET. IT. Listen to his podcast. Unbelievable.”
Listeners can judge for themselves, as the podcast’s first two episodes are currently streaming.