Chris Harrison announced on Saturday, February 13, that he is temporarily stepping down as the host of The Bachelor following his controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay earlier this week.
The 49-year-old ABC personality released a statement via Instagram announcing his decision.
“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said ad the way I spoke. I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same,” he wrote.
Harrison’s statement continued: “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.”
The Texas native announced that he “will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.” Harrison noted that he remains “dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level.”
Harrison outraged Bachelor fans on Tuesday, February 9, when he suggested in an interview with Lindsay, 35, for Extra that people need to have “compassion” for Rachael Kirkconnell amid allegations of racism. Bachelor Nation members came together to call him out after the interview. Harrison issued a public apology, which Lindsay wasn’t quick to accept.
“When I finished that interview with Chris Harrison, he had no problems with it. He was fine. He texted me after, he appreciated the conversation. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably get a little flack, but I thought it was great that we could disagree, but do it in a civil way,'” the former Bachelorette revealed during a Friday, February 12, episode of the “Higher Learning” podcast.
Several Bachelor Nation stars spoke out amid the scandal, some even calling for Harrison’s firing. Taylor Nolan, who appeared on season 21 of The Bachelor, started an online petition to get the host removed from his position. More than 30,000 people signed it.
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To see how Bachelor Nation reacted to Chris Harrison’s temporary step down, keep scrolling.