Some major changes are coming to Bachelor Nation. After admitting his recent comments "excused historical racism," longtime host Chris Harrison released a statement on Feb. 13 announcing he will be stepping back "for a period of time." The news came after the media personality faced backlash for his Feb. 9 interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra. So, who will replace Chris Harrison as The Bachelor's host? Fans have lots of ideas.
Harrison enraged many viewers in his Extra interview, in which he defended current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell following claims of racism against her. According to these allegations (which surfaced on TikTok in January), she bullied a former high school classmate for liking Black men and liked Instagram photos containing Confederate flags. The controversy intensified on Feb. 5, when photos surfaced of her at an "Old South" plantation-themed fraternity party in 2018. On Feb. 11, Kirkconnell issued an Instagram statement apologizing for her "offensive" and "racist" past actions.
Before she released this apology, though, Harrison appeared in a Feb. 9 Extra interview with Lindsay, asking viewers to give her "a little grace." In defending Kirkconnell, he repeatedly dismissed Lindsay's points about racism, instead citing 2021's "woke police," and insinuated the 2018 photos were more acceptable three years ago. Although the host posted an initial apology on Feb. 10 for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism" during the interview, he posted a second statement on Feb. 13 announcing his temporary break from Bachelor Nation.
"This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time," Harrison wrote in his statement.
Elite Daily previously reached out to an ABC rep to clarify how long Harrison's break from The Bachelor franchise will be, but did not hear back by the time of publication. In the meantime, many fans have already started brainstorming who should host the franchise in his absence. Many suggested that Lindsay, a former Bachelorette who has been vocal about the necessary changes that need to occur within Bachelor Nation, should be offered the gig.
Many other viewers rallied for former Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise star Wells Adams to step in as the franchise's host.
Plenty of other familiar Bachelor Nation faces were also mentioned as potential hosts.
And if all else fails, some viewers are willing to do the job themselves.
While it's still unclear how long Harrison will be gone and who will be tapped to replace him, it's good to see the franchise hopefully moving in a more progressive direction in the years to come.