Take a moment and say your good-byes. Long-standing Bachelor and Bachelorette host Chris Harrison has permanently exited the franchise, months after he became embroiled in a racism controversy that tarnished his goodwill among viewers. Deadline reports that Harrison received a “mid-range eight-figure payoff” from the franchise, which comes with the “promise to keep his mouth shut” from a confidentiality settlement. Harrison had been the host of every Bachelor, Bachelorette, and spinoff series since its inaugural season in 2002, until a February Extra interview with former Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay altered the course of his career: In the interview, Harrison defended the prior racist behavior of Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and excused historical racism. Despite numerous apologies and attempts at damage control, the franchise put Harrison on a hosting hiatus, with former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe co-hosting the current Bachelorette season and David Spade filling in for Bachelor in Paradise.
Hours after the news broke, Harrison posted a statement on his social media pages to confirm his departure from Bachelor Nation. “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote. “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.” Several prominent alums commented with well-wishes, which include Colton Underwood, JoJo Fletcher, Ashley Iaconetti, Becca Kufrin, and current co-host Bristowe.
This article has been updated to reflect Chris Harrison’s statement.
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