ABC’s “The Bachelorette” will replace Chris Harrison as host of the next season of the show following controversy over remarks involving race.
Production company Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment announced Friday that Harrison’s role will be taken over by former “Bachelorette” stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
“We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a statement.
“As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] 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.”
Harrison faced backlash in February and announced that he would be stepping away from the show after he defended past behavior from Rachael Kirkconnell, who is a contestant on the current season of “The Bachelor.”
In an interview with the franchise’s first Black lead on “The Bachelorette,” Rachel Lindsay, Harrison said that Kirkconnell deserved grace and questioned whether her actions in donning a Native American costume during an antebellum-themed party in college were “a good look in 2018” or “not a good look in 2021.”
“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.”
Following his interview with Lindsay, Harrison did not host this season’s “After the Final Rose” episode, according to ABC News. It was instead hosted by former NFL player Emmanuel Acho.
Kirkconnell has since apologized for her actions and acknowledged them as racist and offensive,” according to The Associated Press.