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The Bachelor: Chris Harrison ‘permanently exits as Bachelor Nation host’ after racism controversy

Bachelorette fans loving Tayshia & Kaitlyn so much that they don't want Chris Harrison to return
Chris Harrison will not return as the Bachelor Nation host (Picture: ABC|Getty Images)

Chris Harrison is no longer the host of The Bachelor franchise as reports claim he has officially left the series after 19 years.

The longtime presenter had originally stepped aside in February after he faced severe backlash over the way he ‘defended’ contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after she was accused of racially insensitive behavior in her past.

When Harrison, 49, announced his break from the show, many had assumed he would later return to his hosting duties later in the year.

However, it was reported by Deadline that the TV star and ABC had reached an agreement that would allegedly see the host walk away with a ‘mid-range eight-figure payoff and promise to keep his mouth shut’.

It was then 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.’

Multiple guest hosts had already stepped in for Harrison in various Bachelor Nation roles.

THE BACHELOR - 2501 Matt James, the charismatic and engaging star of ABCs hit romance reality series The Bachelor, will hand out the roses for its momentous 25th season. After meeting Matt as a prospective suitor for The Bachelorette, Bachelor Nation swooned when they learned he would take on the role as the lead of his own love story. Matt is the total package with strong family values, a great career, and has used his growing platform for good. His emerging legion of fans cant wait to follow the 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder on his journey to find love during this historic season. Although Matt hasnt been in love before, he feels he is ready now to welcome it into his lifeno matter what challenges he will faceas he starts his search for his happily ever after on the season premiere of The Bachelor, MONDAY, JAN. 4 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Craig Sjodin via Getty Images) CHRIS HARRISON
The longtime host stepped aside earlier this year after getting caught in a racism row with Rachel Lindsay over Rachael Kirkconnell (Picture: ABC via Getty Images)

Emmanuel Acho was announced as his replacement as host of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, while Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are currently running the show on The Bachelorette.

Meanwhile, it had just been revealed that comedian David Spade would one of several stars who would share hosting duties for the upcoming season of Bachelor In Paradise.

Harrison has been keeping a low profile since he came under fire for racially insensitive comments he made to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay – the first Black female lead – while trying to defend Rachael Kirkconnell.

The TV star later issues an apology for his action as he stated: ‘I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I have said and the way I spoke.

‘I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same.

‘By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term “woke police” which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.

‘To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you.

Rachael Kirkconnell
Rachael Kirkconnell apologized for her ‘racist’ actions, as did Chris Harrison (Picture: ABC)

‘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’m so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.

‘This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After The Final Rose special.

‘I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before. I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues, and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.

‘From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man and I humble myself before all of you. I hope I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted Chris Harrison’s representatives for comment.

The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise airs on ABC, while it is available to stream on hayu in the UK.

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MORE : Bachelor in Paradise: Comedian David Spade replaces host Chris Harrison

MORE : Bachelorette Australia makes history with first Indigenous and bisexual lead casting – and both men and women will compete for a rose

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