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The former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay spoke up after the departure of long-time host Chris Harrison.
On Tuesday, the 2002 franchise host confirmed that he will not be returning to run any of the upcoming “Bachelor” shows. The news comes after a controversy over racism that rocked the previous season and Harrison stepped back after receiving backlash for an interview he did with Lindsay at the time.
On Tuesday “Extra,” Lindsay spoke to co-host Billy Bush about the situation and found she was surprised the bottom line of it all Harrison is quitting the job he’s been doing for 19 years.
“I didn’t expect it to happen, not after the announcement,” she said (via People).
CHRIS HARRISON WILL NOT RETURN TO ‘BACHELOR IN PARADISE’ AFTER SCANDAL: REPORTS
Although the racism scandal prompted Harrison to step aside for this season of “The Bachelorette” and the upcoming “Bachelor in Paradise”, Lindsay added that she believes fans can only “speculate” what else yet entered into the decision not to bring Harrison back to the reality series.
“I think several former contestants got in touch and said they didn’t want him to be part of ‘Paradise’. I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before filming her season, was that Chris had to retire “, explained Lindsay. “I think that, along with the interview that took place on this stage, may have resulted in him not coming back.”
Harrison appeared on Extra in February for an interview with Lindsay in which he received backlash in defense of then-Bachelor candidate Rachael Kirkconnell after it was revealed that she was on a plantation on an “Old South” in 2018. Harrison argued at the time that times were different three years ago and advocated forgiveness for Kirkconnell.
The host caught a quick and immediate backlash that prompted them to apologize to themselves.
“I have this incredible platform to talk about love, and yesterday I took up positions that I should have been better informed about. While I am not speaking for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intention was simply to ask for mercy by giving her the opportunity to speak to her on her own behalf, “he wrote at the time.
‘BACHELOR’ HOST CHRIS HARRISON SPEAKS AFTER STEPPING OUT OF THE SHOW:
“What I realize now is doing harm by speaking wrongly in a way that perpetuates racism, and I am so sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better firsthand understanding on a topic she has and thank the members of Bachelor Nation who reached out to me to hold me accountable ” Harrison concluded, “I promise to do better.”
Then he announced he would step aside as the host of the franchise for a period of self-reflection. Although the show found replacements for Harrison for “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” he told Good Morning America in March that he planned to return to hosting at some point in the future. However, Lindsay closed her thoughts on the subject by stating that perhaps after almost two decades it was time for something new.
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“Well, it’s been 19 years and when you watch the show we’ve seen less and less of Chris,” she noted. “19 years is a great achievement. Maybe that’s the case. We don’t know. Maybe you were ready to move on.”
Lindsay’s comments seem to echo those of Harrison in an Instagram post confirming his departure from hosting the franchise.
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“I had a really incredible run as the host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise and I am now looking forward to starting a new chapter. I am so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all the memories we made together. Two decades of travel is coming to an end, the friendships I have made will last a lifetime, “he wrote on Tuesday.