Chris Harrison will not return as host for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, the show’s producers said Friday night.
Instead, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will step in amid ongoing fallout after Harrison defended a current franchise contestant’s racially-insensitive social media posts.
“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,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a joint statement. “As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion with The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks.”
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) March 13, 2021
Harrison stepped away from The Bachelor franchise in February after defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who posted pictures of herself attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. She’s also been accused of liking photos of people posing in front of a Confederate flag.
Harrison’s controversial comments about Kirkconnell came during a contentious Feb. 9 interview with former Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay, who is now a correspondent on Extra.
He has since apologized, and in an interview with Good Morning America, said he hopes to return to the franchise.
“I plan to be back and I want to be back. And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change,” Harrison told GMA co-host Michael Strahan.
Harrison also said he’s been meeting with race and religion scholar Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, to learn more about racial issues.
Since the fallout, Harrison has been replaced as host for the current season’s The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special.
This season of The Bachelor was supposed to be a step forward for the franchise when it selected its first Black bachelor, Matt James, whose season is currently airing on ABC.
The season has been overshadowed by off-camera drama.