Chris Harrison Announces He’s Stepping Away From “The Bachelor”

The longtime host made the announcement on Instagram

Chris Harrison in 2016
Chris Harrison at AOL Studios In New York on February 11, 2016 in New York City.
Esther Horvath/Getty Images

Since 2002, Chris Harrison has hosted The Bachelor — though that’s about to change, at least temporarily. Harrison was criticized for his comments in an interview attempting to minimize the actions of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Kirkconnell recently apologized for a number of offensive social media posts, writing, “My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”

Harrison’s comments about Kirkconnell’s social media activity led the female cast of The Bachelor‘s current season to issue a statement denouncing racism. Today, Harrison addressed his own recent actions and statements, announcing that he would be stepping away from the show for an unspecified period of time. The Hollywood Reporter has an overview of Harrison’s statement, as well as a summary of the controversy to date.

“By excusing historical racism, I defended it,” Harrison writes in the statement.

Elsewhere in the statement, Harrison announces that he will not be present for the After the Final Rose special. He mentions “stepping aside for a period of time,” though there’s little indication of how long that will be.

“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” Harrison writes. In the midst of a significant point in the show’s development, Harrison’s decision makes for another big change — though not necessarily a surprising one.

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