Chris Harrison Explains Why ‘The Bachelor’ Will Never Be Fat, Old, or Homosexual

It’s hard to believe that there have been 23 seasons of ABC’s hit show The Bachelor, yet here we are. Each season has brought the fans drama in a myriad of different ways — from highly controversial contestants caught lying, fighting, and generally being shady to unexpected weirdness at every turn, The Bachelor is always fun to watch.

However, you might notice something familiar about the main characters on the dating and relationship reality show. While the bachelor is always someone unique, personality-wise, they’re always young, attractive, heterosexual males. And according to host Chris Harrison, it’s always going to be that way.

Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison | John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images

‘The Bachelor’ knows how to do one thing well

When The Bachelor started in 2002, they couldn’t have known how successful the franchise would become. It was an experimental time in reality competition shows, with vintage programs like Survivor just getting started.

Now The Bachelor remains one of the longest-lasting, highest rated, and most successful of the bunch. It spurred multiple spinoff shows including The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and more. Fans of the genre even have their own classification: Bachelor Nation.

But just because they’re popular it doesn’t mean producers feel comfortable experimenting with new avenues or pushing the envelope when it comes to who they choose to participate.

Chris Harrison revealed why his bachelors will always be young, fit, and straight

In a 2014 interview with New York Times Magazine, longtime Bachelor mainstay Chris Harrison explained why show producers had no interest in altering the show’s formula for success anytime soon.

“The question is: Is it a good business decision? I just spoke at U.S.C. the other night, and I explained it like this: Look, if you’ve been making pizzas for 12 years and you’ve made millions of dollars and everybody loves your pizzas and someone comes and says, ‘Hey, you should make hamburgers.’ Why? I have a great business model, and I don’t know if hamburgers are going to sell.”  

Harrison says he personally supports equality, but that doesn’t make it right for the show

During the interview, Chris Harrison made a point to explain that his personal convictions had little to do with the decision of who to include — and who to leave out.

“Is our job to break barriers, or is it a business? That’s not for me to answer,” he said. “If you want to talk about that with me on a philosophical level, I’m happy to: I am 100 percent for equality and gay marriage.”

He had similar feelings about including men who were older or slightly overweight. When Harrison was asked if he’d ever include an older or chubby bachelor, he replied, “No. You know why? Because that’s not attractive, and television is a very visual medium, and I know that sounds horrible to say, but I know that at 42, in the eyes of television, I’m old and unattractive.”

‘The Bachelor’ is just trying to entertain

Most recently, Harrison reiterated his stance on the issue during another interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I always say The Bachelor doesn’t create and drive social issues. We’re a microcosm of what’s happening in the world,” he said.

“I’m not going to say we’re changing the world — it’s an entertainment show, so let’s stay in our lane a little bit. But I am proud of the fact that we aren’t afraid of these social issues and are pushing these issues a little bit, and hopefully we do our part in raising the level of debate.”