Rachel Lindsay Reacts to ‘The Bachelor’ Host Chris Harrison’s Racism Storm: ‘I Was Stunned’

Rachel Lindsay, who became the first Black Bachelorette in 2017, says it’s “the right decision” for Bachelor host Chris Harrison to step aside from the show after his controversial comments about race.

Harrison announced on Feb. 13, he would be taking time off and would not appear on the After the Final Rose finale special following his comments defending current season 25 Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past social media posts, including posing at an Antebellum plantation-themed party.

Harrison has faced backlash since he spoke out about Kirkconnell on a Feb. 9 interview with Rachel Lindsay, who is a correspondent on Extra. During the now viral interview on Extra, Harrison defended current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell for her past social media posts, including posing at an Antebellum plantation-themed party.

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Lindsay later shared her  thoughts about Harrison’s remarks with Extra host Billy Bush.

“I was stunned. Not at what was being said because as Chris referenced in that interview, we have had these conversations, so I wasn’t shocked at the content of what he was saying, it was just more of the fact he was saying it in public, where other people can hear what you think,” she said.

“Where do we go from here as a franchise? It’s kind of hard to say. Chris has stepped aside, which I think is the right decision because like he said, he needs to take time to get ‘educated on a profound and productive level,’ to use his words. And I think he needs to understand what was wrong in what he said in that interview,” Lindsay continued.

As for the franchise itself, Bachelor nation’s Black alums have mixed reactions on what should happen to Harrison. Several former contestants spoke with TMZ.

Marshana Ritchie (Bachelor, Season 12) and Leslie Hughes (Bachelor, Season 17) both told the outlet Harrison should go through sensitivity training, take a long break and learn more about Black history.

Meanwhile, DeMario Jackson (Bachelorette, Season 13) and Jubilee Sharpe (Bachelor, Season 20) said Harrison should leave the show permanently.

The Bachelor is currently airing Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC, with its first Black lead Matt James narrowing down his pool of women for hometown dates.

Watch Lindsay’s interview with Bush below: