Former “The Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay has reacted to news that longtime host of ABC’s “The Bachelor” franchise Chris Harrison is leaving the series following his comments during their live chat on racism in February.
Lindsay, a correspondent for “Extra”, said on the show on Tuesday that she did not “expect” Harrison to leave the “The Bachelor” franchise for good.
“I didn’t expect this to happen, not after the announcement,” she said in a conversation with co-host Billy Bush, according to People.
Harrison, who also served as an executive producer for seasons of “The Bachelor” and its spinoff, opened up about his departure on Instagram, writing on Monday that he had had an “incredible run as host” of the franchise. He had hosted the reality show for nearly two decades.
He sparked a wide response in February after defending Rachael Kirkconnell, a white candidate accused of racism, in an interview with Lindsay, who was the franchise’s first Black Bachelorette.
Kirkconnell, who won Season 25 with Bachelor Matt James – the series’ first Black lead – has appeared in photos that have surfaced online of her attending a racist ‘Old South’ ball hosted by a chapter of the Kappa Alpha fraternity in 2018. Fans of the franchise have also criticized her for liking the photos containing the Confederate flag and for sharing pro posts – Police officers amid the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. A woman alleged that Kirkconnell had bullied her in high school because she loved black people.
The Bachelor candidate issued an apology in February, calling some of her past actions “offensive and racist.”
But before Kirkconnell issued an apology, Harrison insisted to Lindsay that the public should have given her “thanks” and “understanding” after photos showing her at the “Old South” party appeared online. He called the 24-year-old a “poor girl” and criticized the “police waking up”.
When Lindsay asked Harrison what it would have meant for her a black woman to attend an “Old South” party, Harrison conceded that Lindsay was “100% right in 2021”, but he blamed the party was not. probably not considered offensive in 2018 three years ago.
Harrison initially announced in February that he was temporarily withdrawing from the franchise after the interview aired.
Lindsay said on “Extra” earlier this week that she believed the growing criticism of Harrison, in addition to her interview, had led to her final exit.
“I think a number of former candidates have come forward and said they don’t want him to be part of ‘Paradise’; I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before going to film her season was that Chris needed to get away – I think, coupled with the interview that took place on this very scene, has it. -being driven not to come back, ”Lindsay said, according to People.
Thurston, the current-season star of “The Bachelorette,” tweeted a statement supporting Lindsay in February and slammed those who attacked the “Extra” host about her interview with Harrison.
“I will always be a Rachel Lindsay supporter,” she wrote, in part.
Thurston told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Monday that she had her “own concerns” about the racism controversy surrounding the franchise and the ongoing criticism of the lack of representation of people of color in the cast and crew. of the franchise.
“I really want diversity in my cast,” she said. “And I want this to be a platform for these men to be heard. This is what it is about – their stories, the love and a little less of what everyone has seen before.
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