In the aftermath of a racism controversy that engulfed the first Black Bachelor’s highly anticipated season earlier this year, Chris Harrison is officially parting ways with the popular reality series after 20 years as the face of the franchise, network ABC and production company Warner Horizon announced on June 8.
“Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise,” read the joint statement. “We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.”
Harrison posted his own statement on Instagram: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
The move comes fast on the heels of the season 17 premiere of “The Bachelorette,” fronted by former “Bachelorettes” Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe instead of Harrison, and reporting that Harrison will also not host “Bachelor in Paradise.”
“The Bachelor” faced a racial reckoning last season after photos surfaced of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at an Old South-themed party in 2018.
Harrison himself was caught up in the scandal following an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black “Bachelorette,” in which he made racially insensitive statements minimizing the images. Soon thereafter, Harrison announced he was stepping back from season 25 of “The Bachelor” before the finale aired.