Chris Harrison has spoken out to confirm his permanent exit from The Bachelor franchise.
The longtime host had been part of Bachelor Nation for 20 years before he was forced to step away earlier this year.
Speaking to fans on Instagram, he wrote: ‘I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter.
‘I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together.’
He continued: ‘While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.’
The host, 49, came under fire in February during an interview on Extra with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay – the first Black lead in the franchise.
During the interview, Chris chose to defend then-contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, over racially insensitive actions that had been unearthed from her past.
Due to his passionate defense, Chris angered viewers who felt he perpetuated racially insensitive beliefs as well as invalidating Rachel Lindsay’s suggestions.
Chris was quick to apologize at the time and chose to step back from his hosting duties.
On July 8 it was confirmed that his leave of absence would be permanent as a statement from Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment read: ‘Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise.
‘We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.’
The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise airs on ABC, while it is available to stream on hayu in the UK.
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us email@example.com, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
For more stories like this, check our entertainment page.
Follow Metro.co.uk Entertainment on Twitter and Facebook for the latest celeb and entertainment updates. You can now also get Metro.co.uk articles sent straight to your device. Sign up for our daily push alerts here.