The Bachelor host Christ Harrison has announced that he is taking a break from the franchise after facing backlash on social media for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnells racist past. The contestant has recently been under fire for bullying girls for liking black guys back in high school, attending an Antebellum themed frat party while in college, and, most recently, both liking and posting racially insensitive photos and videos on social media.


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Harrison’s stance on Kirkconnell’s behavior was made clear during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, The Bachelor‘s first black contestant, who has since said that she will no longer be working with the franchise thanks to is history of excusing and justifying racism.

“We all need to have a little grace, a little understand, a little compassion, because I’ve seen some stuff online, this judge, jury, executioner thing, where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart,” Harrison critiqued the public response to Kirkconnell’s past actions.

At the time, Harrison seemed to only know of Kirkconnell’s resurfaced Antebellum party photos, and did not mention her history of racism through bullying and social media. He argued that, though the party would considered racist now thanks to “woke police,” back in 2018 when the photos were taken it might not have been.

Now, however, Harrison seems to have had a change of heart – five days ago, he posted a brief apology for speaking over Lindsay and excusing Kirkconnell’s actions, but when that was poorly received followed it up with a longer apology also explaining that he’d be taking a break from the show.

“I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special,” the crucial addendum to his post reads.

Though Harrison’s post does not specify how long he will be absent from The Bachelor, both sides of the response to his polarizing apology seem ready to assume that Harrison will not be returning to the franchise. While Harrison’s most loyal of fans have sworn off the shows, his critics seem to make up the overwhelming majority of the response – and are already hunting for replacements, including former contestant Mike Johnson.

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