‘The Bachelor’ Added This Awkward Disclaimer to Address the Chris Harrison Controversy

The Bachelor is in one of the weirdest times in the show’s history. For the first time, the host of the franchise, Chris Harrison, has announced that he is taking a break from The Bachelor. This hiatus was due to fan outrage after Harrison defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s attendance at a plantation party. Though Harrison will not be filming the After the Final Rose ceremony, the Women Tell All was already taped before he decided to step back, leaving fans to watch two hours of Harrison last night. The show did, however, add a disclaimer about Harrison.

Chris Harrison on set of The Bachelor
Chris Harrison | Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay’s interview

Photos of Kirkconnell at the Old South party began circulating early on in the season. Kirkconnell failed to address the situation for weeks, so Harrison did in an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.

When Lindsay mentioned how recent the photos of Kirkconnell were, Harrison claimed that attending racist parties wasn’t that big of a deal in 2018.

“Is it a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021?” he said. “I don’t disagree with you. You’re 100 percent right — in 2021. That was not the case in 2018. Again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018… that was a type of party that a lot of people went to.”

Immediately after the interview, fans called for Harrison to lose his job. Instead of resigning, Harrison decided to take a break.

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Chris takes a break from ‘The Bachelor’

After his initial apology did nothing to help the situation, Harrison tried again.

“To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful,” he said in an Instagram post. “I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you. I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.”

He, then, announced he would be absent from the final episode of Matt James’ season.

“This historic season of ‘The Bachelor’ should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” he continued. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”

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Chris Harrison’s disclaimer

Harrison announced his break weeks ago, but there were still several episodes of James’ season that had already been filmed. So, for the past few weeks, fans have been watching Harrison on screen as if nothing had happened. The Women Tell All was the first time that the incident was addressed. As Harrison walked out on the stage, the words  “Previously recorded on February 4, 2021” popped up on the screen, letting fans know that Harrison wasn’t currently hosting the show.

Former NFL player Emmanuel Acho has already been tapped to replace Harrison at the After the Final Rose ceremony, which will air Mar. 15.