Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, has apologized again for his actions in defending a current contestant’s alleged racist past and wants to return to the show after a temporary leave of absence.

“I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that,” he told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America. “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 but also for the franchise.”

According to Strahan, Harrison’s apology was “nothing more than a surface response on any of this. Obviously he’s a man who wants to clearly stay on the show but only time will tell if there’s any meaning behind his words.”

The current season of The Bachelor features the show’s first black male lead, Matt James. Rachel Kirkconnell, one of final four women competing for James’ heart, faced controversy after photos surfaced of her attending an antebellum plantation-themed party, and she allegedly liked photos online of people posing in front of a Confederate flag.

Harrison then defended Kirkconnell and in an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the first black female lead in the franchise. Harrison suggested that Kirkconnell attending a plantation-themed party was more acceptable in 2018.

Harrison took back that comment in Thursday’s interview with Strahan, “Antebellum parties are not ok – past, present, future. Knowing what that represents is unacceptable.”

He also plans to return to the dating show. “I plan to be back and I want to be back,” he said. “This interview is not the finish line, there is much more work to be done and I am excited to be a part of that change.”

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