When it comes to Chris Harrison‘s controversial Extra interview, Bachelor alum Serena Pitt isn’t ready to simply forgive and forget.
The Canada native, 23, weighed in on the possibility of becoming the next Bachelorette during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, shortly after taking herself out of the running for Matt James‘ final rose. While she admitted that she would “definitely consider” the opportunity if it came her way, there’s one major detail that’s giving her pause.
“With the Bachelorette season being so soon … I would struggle [with Chris as host], because the amount of work that needs to be done here,” Pitt told the outlet on Tuesday, March 2, as the 49-year-old continues to deal with the fallout from his “extremely upsetting” remarks. “I would need to see the changes that have been happening in his life, and the actions that he has taken, and will be continuing to take moving forward, to feel comfortable welcoming him into the Bachelorette season.”
Harrison announced in February that he was stepping away from his position as host of the ABC dating franchise — a job he’s held for nearly 20 years — after a recent interview with Rachel Lindsay drew backlash. At the time, Harrison defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who came under fire for past racially insensitive social media activity. Both Kirkconnell, 24, and the Texas native have apologized since their comments made headlines.
“I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday, I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf,” Harrison wrote via Instagram on February 10. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.”
Us editors discuss Colton Underwood’s coming out in this Here for the Right Reasons podcast highlight!
The Perfect Letter author thanked Lindsay, 35, for holding him accountable and continuing to speak out about the serious topic. Pitt, for her part, praised the first Black Bachelorette’s poise under pressure.
“She conducted herself with class and professionalism, having to sit there and conduct that interview,” the publicist said on Tuesday. “It shed a lot of light on issues on the franchise and beyond the franchise. I think all I can do is hope for change and education.”
In the wake of the controversy, Lindsay deactivated her Instagram due to online harassment — but hasn’t stopped encouraging the ABC franchise to improve. During a recent episode of her “Higher Learning” podcast, the attorney suggested that Bachelorette production be delayed for the time being.
“I think that they should just stop until … they get the train back on the tracks,” the season 21 Bachelor alum explained. “You’re gonna go into another season but you still have all these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season? You really haven’t. … Figure things out, regroup and then bring the product back to us [in] a way that we can all enjoy it the way that we used to.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!