After the 17th season premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” Monday night, longtime host Chris Harrison is officially exiting stage-left from the franchise, after cancel culture squeezed him out.
“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,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a statement on Tuesday.
Harrison, who has been with the network for 19 years, announced he was temporarily leaving “The Bachelor” franchise after he stood up for former “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell when photos of her resurfaced from a plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, and this is again where we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion because I have seen some stuff online — this judge, jury, and executioner thing —where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her parents and her parents’ voting record,” Harrison said, merely asking for grace for Kirkconnell after the photos went viral. “It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this.”
Harrison’s comments sparked a mass media storm from Bachelor Nation and cancel mobs, who insisted Harrison himself was deeply racist. The host caved to them, apologizing in February for his statement.
“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology,” Harrison said. “I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed.”
Although Harrison’s permanent departure wasn’t official until Tuesday, fans speculated he would not return following the controversy.
Harrison took to Instagram on Tuesday to give a parting message to fans.
“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” Harrison said. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
“The Bachelorette” will be guest-hosted by former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe until ABC announces who will fill Harrison’s shoes.