Chris Harrison Is Done. The Lesson? Never Apologize

Chris Harrison Is Done. The Lesson? Never Apologize

Cancel culture feeds on apologies. The only way to stop it is to resist it, and Chris Harrison failed.
Kylee Zempel
By

The Chris Harrison predictions have panned out just as expected. The next season of “The Bachelorette” is right around the corner, and Chris Harrison, the only host “The Bachelor” franchise has ever known, will officially not be part of it.

“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,” ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon told the Hollywood Reporter in a joint statement on Friday evening. “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 franchise is certainly reflective of one aspect of our world: cancel culture. According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC’s decision not to keep Harrison as the host for the next “Bachelorette” installment follows “a racial controversy surrounding the veteran face of the franchise.”

That’s not exactly what happened, however. It was a controversy all right, and it centered almost exclusively on Harrison, but the racism charge really wasn’t about Harrison’s actions at all — or, at least, it shouldn’t have been.

Much to the delight of the many Americans who are fed up with the critical race theory hounds who infiltrate and ruin all our sources of entertainment, when the internet erupted over college photos of one of this season’s contestants at an antebellum South-inspired party, Harrison opted for a calm and gracious response. “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” he said.

But the aforementioned hounds don’t tolerate any of those things. The same “unbelievably alarming” mob Harrison warned about descended on him. For his sin of compassion and grace, former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay chewed Harrison out the following day on a podcast, this season’s cast condemned his remarks, and the internet went crazy with a petition calling for the host to be removed permanently.

Then things got so much worse.

Chris Harrison Folded

Harrison, a rare defender of forgiveness and civility, capitulated. His apology tour started with two Instagram posts that read like he was taken hostage by Ibram X Kendi.

“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful,” he said, along with some blather about his “path to anti-racism.” With that, the host of nearly two decades’ worth of polyamory said he would be “stepping aside for a period of time.”

Later it was announced Emmanuel Acho, who has no history with the iconic franchise but is black and therefore qualified, would be taking over Harrison’s post for the season finale. This move of blatant identity politics confirmed our Harrison suspicions: Him “stepping aside” was really him getting boxed out.

But his apology tour wasn’t over, no sirree. There was more groveling to do and a job to claw his way back to. In a “Good Morning America” interview — better described as a struggle session — with Michael Strahan, Harrison put on a pathetic performance of self-flagellation with all the typical buzzwords: Mistake, racism, oppression, sorry, sorry, SORRY.

It was all a job interview, of course, and the only question was: Are you woke enough? “I plan to be back, and I want to be back,” Harrison told Strahan. “There is much more work to be done, and I am excited to be part of that change.”

Apology Not Accepted

Harrison, however, won’t be part of the change, whatever that means. Before the host even had a chance to “take a moment, say his goodbyes,” he was done. Canceled. In fact, his fate was sealed the moment he posted his first pitiful Instagram apology, trading his conviction for cowardice. Now with two new female hosts, one of which is biracial, to carry on the next season, there’s little reason to believe Harrison will ever return.

It isn’t like Harrison didn’t have examples to follow. He could have joined the ranks of J.K. Rowling, Dave Chappelle, Dave Portnoy, and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, taking the path of resilience. He might no longer have a job with ABC, but at least he’d still have his integrity. Instead, he walked the path of least resistance, joining the likes of weak-kneed Drew Brees, Sarah Silverman, Bon Appetit’s Adam Rapoport, and a host of comedians who fold at the peril of their entire industry.

It offers a lesson for us all: Apologize, renounce your beliefs and integrity, and get tossed to the curb anyway. For all Harrison’s embarrassing declarations of his own racist ignorance, where did it leave him?

There’s no forgiveness under leftist orthodoxy. Its adherents don’t actually want you to be an ally; they want you to be an example. In reinstating Harrison, Hollywood would have sent the message that racists are redeemable — and they can’t have that. Instead, Harrison is right where the cancel mob wants him — lying prostrate in the dirt, stripped of his beliefs and his dignity, and serving as a warning sign to onlookers: Don’t cross us, or you could be next.

The truth is, like demonic clowns on children’s fear, cancel culture feeds on apologies. With every new capitulation, the relentless mob is emboldened, leaving its victims’ livelihoods for dead while it stalks out its next target. The only way to stop it is to resist it.

The arc of Chris Harrison’s final days in polite society is a sad one: courage, cowardice, pleading, and finally exile. Now nobody wants to claim him. Let it be a lesson: Don’t follow the Chris Harrison model. Never apologize to the cancel mob.

Kylee Zempel is an assistant editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @kyleezempel.

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