The Chris Harrison Controversy

On Saturday, Feb. 13, Chris Harrison, host of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” announced on Instagram he will be temporarily stepping down from the franchise for an unknown period.

This announcement came after a controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay, former contestant on “The Bachelor” and Season 25’s Bachelorette, in which Harrison defended current contestant on this season of “The Bachelor” Rachel Kirkconnell.

Some of the photos Kirkconnell posted on social media were considered racist, including her attending an antebellum-themed party in 2018.

Lindsay asked Harrison about the Kirkconnell photos during an interview on Feb. 9.

“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” Harrison told Lindsay during the virtual interview on Extra.

Some fans reacted negatively to his comments.

“I was very upset and disappointed in Chris Harrison after being a Bachelor fan for so many years,” said sophomore Anna Richards.

“Is it a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021?” Harrison asked Lindsay during the Extra interview regarding the pictures.

“It made me angry that Chris Harrison tried to back up Rachel by saying how the photos were from 2018, insinuating that racism was not an issue then,” said sophomore Gianna Romagnoli.

The issue for some fans is that Harrison told Lindsay that the antebellum party did not give off the same look in 2018 as it does now in 2021.

“He was not sensitive to the racial injustice that has been faced in this country,” said sophomore Jenna Williams.

After facing backlash for defending Kirkconnell’s actions, Harrison took to social media to apologize in an Instagram post. He wrote, “To my Bachelor Nation family—I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology.”

Some students say that his apology is enough and should make everyone move on.

“I think this is an over-exaggeration and people need to relax,” said sophomore Brendan Capozzi. “It all came across wrong and he apologized for it, so I don’t think he deserves to be getting this much backlash.”

According to, Harrison said his intentions were to ask for grace in offering Rachel Kirkconnell the opportunity to speak on her own behalf.

A number of former contestants spoke out about Harrison’s comments during the interview.

According to ET, Tayshia Adams, the most recent Bachelorette, said that she is “really hurt, disappointed and confused” by the response to Kirkconnell’s actions, which she called “blatantly racist.”

According to, “Lindsay is not renewing her contract with the Bachelor franchise when it expires.” She said she doesn’t want to be affiliated with the ignorance and cannot deal with it anymore.

“My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you. I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism,” Harrison wrote to the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community on Instagram.

Harrison will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for this season’s “After the Final Rose” special. In the time off, Harrison said he will be dedicating his time to educating himself profoundly and productively.

Many students have opinions on who they want to replace Harrison as the host.

“I feel that there should be a female host in replace of Chris Harrison. It would bring more of a feminine approach to the show,” said Romagnoli.

Romagnoli also said that Rachel Lindsay would be a good potential host.

“She has a better perspective coming from Bachelor Nation and is one of the show’s strongest advocates for racial justice,” said Romagnoli.

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