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Chris Harrison out as host of ‘The Bachelorette’ next season amid controversy

"The Bachelor" star Matt James, left, and host Chris Harrison.
“The Bachelor” star Matt James, left, and host Chris Harrison.
(Craig Sjodin / ABC)

Chris Harrison, the host of ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise, who has come under fire for racially insensitive remarks, will not host the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette.”

ABC and Warner Horizon, which produces the series, made the announcement in a joint statement late Friday, several weeks after Harrison defended current “The Bachelor” frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell for racist behavior in her past, including attending an antebellum South-themed party in 2018. Harrison made the comments during a Feb. 9 interview on “Extra” with Rachel Lindsay, who made history as the first Black “Bachelorette.” The fallout from that interview has engulfed this season of “The Bachelor,” starring its first Black leading man, Matt James.

Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams, who is Black, and Kaitlyn Bristowe will replace Harrison as hosts in the coming season.

After pledging ‘real change’ amid last year’s protests, ABC and owner Walt Disney Co. stayed silent as a firestorm over race consumed its reality-TV flagship.

Harrison has apologized for his defense of Kirkconnell, and said he is working to become more aware and sensitive on issues around race and had already relinquished hosting duties for Monday’s post-finale special.

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“We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing,” said the statement. “As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”

The season is reportedly in pre-production at a resort outside Albuquerque, N.M., and was scheduled to start filming in late March.


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