Chris Harrison Speaks Out After 'Bachelor' Franchise Exit

Chris Harrison is looking back on his time in Bachelor Nation. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the longtime host expressed gratitude following the news that he will not return to the Bachelor franchise.

“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”

Meanwhile, in a statement to ET on behalf of The Bachelor franchise, Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said, “Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.”

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A post shared by Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison)

ET previously reported that negotiations over Harrison’s exit had been underway for awhile, before they concluded late Monday night.  

Despite telling Good Morning America in March, “I plan to be back and I want to be back,” in regard to the franchise, Harrison negotiated a mid-eight figure deal to exit it, according to Deadline, who was the first to report his departure.

News of Harrison’s permanent departure came months after he announced that he was stepping aside from the franchise “for a period of time” amid his racism scandal.

The controversy began when he defended Rachael Kirkconnell, the eventual winner of Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, and her past racist actions, encouraging people to offer her “grace,” and speaking out against the “woke police” during an interview with Rachel Lindsay. 

After facing backlash for his comments made during the interview, Harrison apologized for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.” He announced his then-temporary departure shortly thereafter alongside a second apology.

“My ignorance did damage to my friend, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke,” Harrison wrote in part. “By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.”

In his March GMA interview, Harrison categorized his comments as “a mistake.”

“I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that,” he said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise.” 

Amid Harrison’s franchise absence, Emmanuel Acho hosted James’ After the Final Rose special, while Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams are currently hosting Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette.

Earlier this month, a source told ET that David Spade and other guest hosts will lead the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise.

As for Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, ET has learned that there are no decisions yet on who will host. In the meantime, ET has learned, producers are still focused on casting celebrity guest hosts for Bachelor in Paradise, as it’s set to begin filming later this month.

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