Chris Harrison won’t be hosting The Bachelorette for the show’s 17th season. After weeks of speculating that the long-time star of the reality show wouldn’t be back next season, ABC made it official on Friday.
Harrison got booted after he sparked controversy with some racially insensitive comments. The star will instead be replaced by two former contestants.
Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will pick up hosting duties for the show’s next season, a statement issued late Friday said. Earlier this year, Harrison stepped down from The Bachelor. Now it looks like he’s left the franchise altogether, at least for this year.
“We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing,” ABC and Warner Horizon said Friday’s statement. “As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) representation of our crew.”
Chris Harrison Steps In It
The now-former host of The Bachelorette brought a firestorm on himself when he defended Rachel Kirkconnel after past photos of her resurfaced in which she is dressed in costume as a Native American and at an antebellum plantation themed ball.
When Harrison waged his defense, he blamed the firestorm surrounding her on the “woke police.” After his own comments drew a backlash, Harrison apologized.
Kirkconnell also apologized for the photos. The Bachelor contestant appeared to come out the other end of her controversy. Harrison’s controversy continues.
Earlier this week, Emmanuel Acho joined the growing chorus of people aligned against Harrison. Acho stepped in to replace the host on the finale of this season’s The Bachelor.
Acho appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about the issue. During that appearance, the ESPN personality called Harrison’s words “arrogant” and “ignorant.”
Acho did add he felt that Harrison agreed with that assessment. He also believed “cancel culture” is the wrong way to go.
With the announcement so new, Acho hasn’t weighed in on Harrison’s removal from The Bachelorette.
Gone For Good?
For now, the show hasn’t said whether or not Harrison’s removal is just for Season 17, or for good. For his part, the host hasn’t commented on the move yet.
That leaves more questions than answers on what ABC has planned.
Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will take over. For now, it appears the pair will share the screen each episode. It’s possible the pair will alternate as hosts from one week to the next.
It’s possible ABC is hoping a year off will tamp down the controversy. Harrison has been with the show for years. He’s now synonymous with the program. That alone, could make the shakeup temporary.
The network may clear things up when Season 17 launches.