Chris Harrison controversy puts ‘Bachelor’ race issues back in the spotlight

Harrison was being talked to by Rachel Lindsay, a present Additional host and previous star of 2017’s “The Bachelorette,” when he protected a present participant who was supposedly photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity official in 2018.

Harrison has actually considering that asked forgiveness, composing on his Instagram that he was “deeply remorseful” for the discomfort and harm his “ignorance” had actually given his “friends, colleagues and strangers alike,” prior to revealing he would take a “period of time” far from his hosting tasks throughout this “historic season” of “The Bachelor,” which includes the program’s very first Black lead, Matt James.

The franchise, which debuted in 2002, did not cast an individual of color as its lead up until Lindsay, who is Black. Now, she has actually stated she no longer wishes to be associated with the series.

“I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough,” Lindsay stated on the most recent episode of her Greater Knowing podcast following her interview with Harrison. “How much more do I want to be affiliated with this? I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. Okay, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant. Who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too.”

When James was cast as “The Bachelor” last summer season, ABC Home entertainment President Karey Burke stated in a declaration, “We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience.”

His casting followed a petition getting in touch with ABC and Warner Bros., which produces “The Bachelor,” to enhance variety on the series and its spinoff programs.

“The franchise, and all those who represent it, should reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country–both in front of and behind the camera,” the petition read. (Like CNN, Warner Bros. belongs to WarnerMedia.)

Following Harrison’s interview with Lindsay, participants on the present season of “The Bachelor” launched a joint declaration on Instagram, composing in part, “We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized.”

Regardless of the addition of more participants of color in current seasons — and the casting of Juan Pablo Galavis, who is Latino, as Season 18’s “Bachelor” — both critics and fans of the franchise have actually stated work towards development stays.

Harrison, for his part, recommended he concurs.

“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before,” Harrison stated in his declaration. “I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.