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Host Chris Harrison leaves ‘Bachelor’ franchise after racist comments

Host Chris Harrison leaves ‘Bachelor’ franchise after racist comments

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – After mass outrage over racist comments, ABC Entertainment said on Tuesday the host of the popular “Bachelor” TV show in the United States is leaving the show after nearly 20 years.

Chris Harrison, who has hosted ABC’s “The Bachelor” and its spin-offs “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Heaven” since 2002, will not return to lead the show after its launch in February, announced by ABC and producer Warner Horizon. statement.

“Chris Harrison is stepping down as host of the Bachelor franchise,” the companies said in the statement. “We are grateful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him well on his new journey.”

Harrison said in an Instagram post that he had a “really amazing long time” as a presenter. “Although my two-decade journey is over, the friendships I made will last a lifetime,” he added.

Harrison’s future on the series has been in limbo since February, when he made controversial comments in defense of “Bachelor” contestant Rachel Kirkonnell, who won in March when she was paired with Matt James, the show’s first black champion. Pictures of Kirkonell attending a racist-themed college party in 2018 surfaced on social media during the broadcast of the show.

Harrison’s comments sparked debate about the lack of diversity in the franchise and came at a time of widespread awakening in the United States after the 2020 mass protests over the killing of unarmed black men while in police custody.

(Reporting by Jill Sargent)