Why is Chris Harrison off The Bachelor?

Chris Harrison has stepped away from The Bachelor franchise indefinitely, after he came to the defence of contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, who was accused of racist actions.

Chris Harrison has been embroiled in the biggest scandal of his career, after he publicly defended the actions of The Bachelor contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell. The controversy began when the 24-year-old frontrunner on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor was lambasted for old social media posts, which saw her dressed in Native American attire for an antebellum plantation–themed college party in 2018. The event is known to honour a time when African Americans were acknowledged as slaves.

In early February 2021, Chris spoke with former Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, in an interview with Extra. Chris asked that the audience show compassion and grace to Rachael, as not everyone was as aware in 2018 as they are in 2021. Some were outraged by his comments and accused him of sympathising with a racist.

On Thursday, 11 February 2021, Chris issued his first formal apology, where he acknowledged his wrong in defending Rachael. After further reflection, on Saturday, 13 February 2021, he announced that he would be stepping away from the franchise indefinitely, and would not be hosting the After The Final Rose special of Matt James’ season.