'Bachelor' host Chris Harrison says he regrets defending Rachael Kirkconnell's racism

Presenter of the Bachelor, Chris Harrison, states that he regrets defending Rachel Kirkconnell’s past racist actions

Chris Harrison
(Image credit: John Fleenor / Getty Images)

Chris Harrison states, “It was a mistake," to defend Rachael Kirkconnell’s previous racist actions in a new interview with Good Morning America.

Chris Harrison, the host of the Bachelor, has spoken up about his mistake when it came to defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. “I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake, and I own that," said Harrison. 

On the current season of The Bachelor, a contestant, Racheal Kirkconnell, has been accused of racism after old social media posts have resurfaced. One post shows the contestant in Native American clothing that she is wearing as a costume at a party. Another image shows her attending a distasteful plantation-themed 'Old South' ball. 

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Chris Harrison first defended Rachael’s behavior in an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. In the interview, Chris stated that people should have, "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," for Racheal Kirconell.

Rachel Lindsay agreed that attending an old south-themed party was “not a good look.” Chris then further defended Rachael Kirkconnell by suggesting that in 2021 we may view her behavior differently than it was perceived in 2018. “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there's a big difference," said Chris. 

The former bachelorette replied critically, "It's not a good look ever, because she's celebrating the Old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?"

Since this conversation, Rachel Lindsay has said on her podcast, ‘Higher Learning With Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay.’ That she was unimpressed by Chris Harrison’s behavior during their interview. She said, “During that conversation, his privilege was on display, he never gave me room to talk and he never gave me room to share my perspective, he wasn't trying to hear it, he just wanted to be heard."

Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay

(Image credit: Randy Holmes /Getty Images)

Since this interview, it is clear that Chris has retracted his former statements. He has apologized to Rachel by stating, "I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I can't believe I didn't speak against antebellum parties, what they stand for.” 

He has also stated, "I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community."

Chris Harrison's future as the host of The Batchelor and Batchelorette is now uncertain. With some stating that he should step back and others saying that he has apologized and the problem is over.

Fans have been divided about this issue. One fan commented, “He apologized.  Let’s move on.  It’s being dragged out way longer than it needs to be.  If he doesn’t return to the franchise then that’s fine, he owns his mistake. But when is this going to end?” Another fan replied to this statement, “it ends when he stops saying uneducated stuff. he’s his own worse enemy.”