Following cancel culture’s unjust victory over longtime host of “The Bachelor” Chris Harrison for the sin of compassion, the franchise has announced who will take his place to host the final episode of this season, which boasts the series’ first black bachelor. The interim host will be former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
Harrison, of course, can’t host right now because shortly before filming the season finale, termed “After the Final Rose,” he made the mistake of talking back to cancel culture. When photos surfaced of one of this season’s contestants at an antebellum era-themed party in college, Harrison asked for “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” for her. That was a bridge too far for progressives intent on carrying out vigilante justice on people whose pasts weren’t quite woke enough. Not only did the contestant face backlash online, but so did Harrison, who then offered a self-flagellating apology for his grace that read like a hostage letter and stepped away from hosting indefinitely. Enter Acho.
Acho isn’t a former contestant, nor is he a close friend of the Bachelor Nation franchise. He has never guest-hosted or made a cameo. Acho’s arena isn’t matchmaking, it’s Lincoln Financial Field; he’s an ex-NFL player, not an ex-bachelor. In other words, he isn’t the logical replacement for Harrison following the iconic host’s fall from grace during the infamous interview with the first black bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. So why is Acho hosting?
Well, Lindsay and her husband recommended Acho, who hosts the podcast “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” as a “fantastic” host for the finale. “[He’s] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, ‘I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it,’” Lindsay said. “Who better to lead it? [He’s] someone who’s not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias — I think it’d be great.”
Lindsay’s husband agreed, saying: “I echo those sentiments. I think Emmanuel Acho would be the perfect person to have those uncomfortable conversations with the contestants, with [bachelor Matt James] at the end of the day, and I think it would really be a positive step forward.”
Acho, according to the woman who led the outrage mob against Harrison, is the perfect person to host a nonpolitical reality game show about finding love because he’s what? Loud about race issues?
This isn’t the first time ABC has caved to the loudest voices in the room. “Last summer, I was saying that I was going to step away if there wasn’t a lead of color, if changes weren’t made, and then the Bachelor Diversity Campaign came together, which was amazing,” said Lindsay of her former ultimatum. “The Bachelor” Diversity Campaign was the result of an online petition for “anti-racism in the Bachelor franchise,” which featured demands such as racial quotas within the cast and crew, as well as “equitable screen time,” the addition of a “diversity consultant,” and BIPOC “resources” for viewers.
While this might be shocking to ABC writers and producers, many of us fans of Bachelor Nation watch the show not because we were interested in Harrison or Lindsay’s political leanings but because we want to take a break from work, the pandemic, and politics, and instead be entertained. If we wanted to watch someone “outspoken about racial injustice,” we would attend a Black Lives Matter rally or read a Robin DiAngelo book. The only “uncomfortable conversations” many viewers are interested in watching on Monday nights are cringey first impressions and tearful breakups with mean girls.
One of the things that made Harrison so integral to the show was the fact that he was its first and only host. For nearly two decades, Chris Harrison has been synonymous with the series. “Take a moment. Say your goodbyes,” will never sound the same coming out of someone else’s mouth. Lindsay’s plug for Acho, that he’s “not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias,” shows how out of touch with viewers she really is.
Acho will be hosting the finale not because he’s the best person for the job, but because of his skin color and his voting record. It’s identity politics at its finest, and it’s not why we’re here.