Entertainment

Chris Harrison exits ‘Bachelor’ franchise after racism controversy

It was a less than rosy sendoff for Chris Harrison.

The longtime host of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” is apparently not coming back to the popular reality franchise, Deadline reported Tuesday morning.

Harrison, who hosted the ABC series and spinoffs since 2002, reportedly received an eight-figure settlement and is stifled by a confidentiality agreement, according to the site.

A representative for the show did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Harrison’s apparently permanent exit from Bachelor Nation comes just hours after Monday night’s premiere of Season 17 of “The Bachelorette,” a season featuring former contestants Kaitlyn Bristowe, 35, and Tayshia Adams, 30, as the show’s new co-hosts. Comedian David Spade, meanwhile, has been tapped to steer this summer’s “Bachelor in Paradise” spinoff.

In February, Harrison was entangled in controversy when he defended former “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after pictures emerged of her attending an Antebellum-styled party. Kirkconnell eventually apologized and Harrison stepped down from his duties after ex-contestants slammed him for defending her.

“We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism,” many of the Season 25 contestants said in a joint statement shared on social media at the time. “Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized.” 

In the wake of the controversy, Page Six exclusively reported that Harrison had hired LA power lawyer Bryan Freeman, who represented Gabrielle Union during a recent dispute with NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” on which the actress, 48, was a judge.

Controversy seemed to initially heat up in June 2020 after it was announced that Matt James would be the first black Bachelor in the franchise’s nearly two-decade history. At that time, former casting producer Jazzy Collins told The Post that the “whole season feels like a PR stunt” and took the show to task for “perpetuating black stereotypes.”

nypost.com

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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