Words and actions have consequences. That’s something Chris Harrison learned firsthand following his Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay.
During the chat, the former Bachelorette, 35, recapped the show with Harrison, 49, before asking the host what his thoughts were on Rachael Kirkconnell. The current Bachelor contestant — who made it to Matt James‘ final four on the Monday, February 15, episode — is under fire for “liking” racially charged Instagram posts and for attending an Old South party in 2018.
At the time of the Extra interview, Kirkconnell, 24, had not apologized for her past actions — something Lindsay voiced her concern about to the producer.
“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I have seen some stuff online — this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents, her parents’ voting record,” Harrison said at the time. “I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
When Lindsay noted that Kirkconnell had six weeks to speak out, Harrison seemed to continue to defend her. “Who is Rachel Lindsay and who is Chris Harrison and who is whatever woke police person out there, who are you [to tell her to speak out]?” he asked. “I’ve heard this a lot of, ‘I think she should,’ ‘I think he should.’ Who the hell are you? Who are you that you demand that?”
The interview was followed by a great amount of backlash by both fans of the franchise and Bachelor Nation members alike. Lindsay, for her part, has spoken out numerous times since the interview, revealing that she wants to step away from the franchise.
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“Chris loves to keep saying, ‘We’ve had these conversations, so, I’m gonna go ahead and use that. Because we’ve had these conversations.’ [I] wasn’t shocked at what he said. I’m just shocked [that] he said it on camera,” she said on her “Higher Learning” podcast three days after the Extra interview. “As far as me, I’m f—king tired. I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough. … How much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take of things like this? I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. OK, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant — who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I’m confused as to how you could have whole consultants working for you, yet what happened just happened … I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t do it anymore.”
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Scroll through the gallery below for a full timeline — from the Extra interview and Kirkconnell’s apology to Harrison choosing to take a break from the franchise.