Will a Black host replace Chris Harrison? 'The Bachelor' alums slam 'all-White cast, all-White show'
'The Bachelor' alums and fans of the show think it's time for Harrison to leave his role permanently
'The Bachelor' has seen its fair share of controversies over its past 25 seasons and spin-offs, but the most recent one might just prove to be the most monumental, as The Bachelor Nation calls for the host, Chris Harrison, to be removed.
Harrison, who has been hosting the show since it first aired in 2002, has found himself at the center of a controversy around racism after he voiced his support towards current Season 25 participant and rumored winner, Rachel Kirkconnell. This was in regards to images of Rachel Kirkconnell that had surfaced online and was racist in nature.
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The situation spiraled when Harrison was in conversation with extra's Rachel Lindsay (participant on Season 21 of 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' Season 13). Lindsay brought to light the recent images of Kirkconnell that surfaced on Reddit, where she was seen attending an 'antebellum plantation themed ball', along with liking social media content that was racist in nature.
As reported by the Daily Mail, when Lindsay suggested that this was 'not a good look' for Kirkconnell, Harrison suggested 'a little understanding'.
He went on to say that "Is it [not] a good look in 2018? Or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference." He also defended Kirkconnell by saying, "The woke police is out there. And this poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions, I don’t know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this."
His response sparked a massive debate regarded the show's racist behavior over the years. Harrison issued a public statement and apology on his Instagram and also announced that he'd be stepping away from the show for some time. Harrison was currently hosting Season 25, the first season to have Black bachelor Matt James.
However, several Black alums of Bachelor Nation have spoken out against this temporary leave, suggesting that Harrison should leave the show entirely. As reported by TMZ, alumni DeMario Jackson from Season 13 and Jubilee Sharpe from Season 20 feel as though it's time to take this situation seriously.
"I don't really think he should be allowed to return but it's not up to me," said Jackson. He went on to further address why this issue is deeper than it seems. "My season was one of the most visible Black seasons as far as the representation by African American males and women. It just sucked because, yeah, we had each other but there was nobody we could really relate to because it was an all-white production, all-white cast, all-white show … which is great, but it’s 2021 now," he added.
Twitter too, believes that it's time Harrison stepped down from his role. "So basically it’s okay to be racist in 2018 but not in [email protected] you’re so tone deaf! Your white privilege is screaming through the whole interview! Just don’t come back to the Bachelor", tweeted a fan.
"The controversy surrounding @chrisbharrison is the latest in a larger pattern of systemic racism in the @BachelorABC franchise—a pattern that has harmed BIPOC cast, crew, & viewers. #FireChrisHarrison is a culmination of many documented aggressions & empty promises. #TheBachelor," tweeted an account dedicated to talking about racism prevalent in the show.
"I keep getting asked if Chris Harrison is going to lose his job. I don’t know if he is or not. But if he does, nobody should be surprised. There IS precedent for this," tweeted Reality Steve, who also famously dropped a fair share of Season 25 spoilers.
So basically it’s okay to be racist in 2018 but not in 2021.....@chrisbharrison you’re so tone deaf! Your white privilege is screaming through the whole interview! Just don’t come back to the Bachelor— Young RiRi✨ (@Tiffanytori_) February 16, 2021
The controversy surrounding @chrisbharrison is the latest in a larger pattern of systemic racism in the @BachelorABC franchise—a pattern that has harmed BIPOC cast, crew, & viewers. #FireChrisHarrison is a culmination of many documented aggressions & empty promises. #TheBachelor— Bachelor Diversity Campaign (@bachdiversity) February 15, 2021
I keep getting asked if Chris Harrison is going to lose his job. I don’t know if he is or not. But if he does, nobody should be surprised. There IS precedent for this.— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) February 12, 2021
There is no other information at the moment on who will be replacing Harrison during his absence or if he'll even be coming back to resume his role. Either way, it seems like it's about time 'The Bachelor' got its act together.
'The Bachelor' airs every Monday at 8 pm ET on ABC.