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Chris Harrison Steps Aside From ‘The Bachelor’

'The Bachelor' host Chris Harrison prunes roses during an Emmys 2020 segment.
(Image credit: ABC)

Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, is “stepping aside” from the show, according to his post on Instagram, in the wave of controversy stemming from his defense of Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s behavior.  

Photos surfaced of Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed fraternity event in 2018. Harrison appeared on Extra and asked the public to be more lenient with Kirkconnell. 

"This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions," Harrison said on Instagram. 

Matt James is the bachelor this season, representing the first time a Black man has been the star of The Bachelor

“To the Black community, to the BIPOC community, I am so sorry,” Harrison wrote. “My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you.”

Harrison will not host the After the Final Rose live special following the season finale. “I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before,” he said. 

Kirkconnell, 24, also apologized on Instagram. 

The current season began Jan. 4. 

Harrison also hosts The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise

The Bachelor is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner, Peter Gust, Tim Warner, Louis Caric and Peter Geist are the executive producers.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.