Spoilers ahead for the February 25 episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune on ABC.
As The Bachelor deals with controversy related to longtime host Chris Harrison, ABC made a rather surprising move in its primetime programming. Thursday's episode of the primetime spinoff Celebrity Wheel of Fortune featured Harrison as a contestant, alongside Alfonso Ribeiro and Robert Herjavec. Viewers who have kept up on the controversy currently surrounding Chris Harrison had thoughts about the message that ABC was sending with the Celebrity Wheel of Fortune episode.
ABC did run a disclaimer along the bottom of the episode, noting that the episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune had been filmed December 20th. The disclaimer wasn't enough to prevent criticism from viewers, who questioned why ABC felt it so important to continue to showcase Chris Harrison given all that's happening.
Chris Harrison's appearance on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune comes less than two weeks after Harrison announced he'd be stepping aside from The Bachelor franchise and would not be attending the "After The Final Rose" special. Harrison created controversy after an interview in which he admittedly "perpetuates racism" by defending surfaced actions of The Bachelor Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Given Harrison's willingness to step aside, some questioned ABC's decision to go ahead and run the episode regardless of when it was filmed.
And while no one can presume to know ABC's intentions in airing this particular episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune with a disclaimer, others are outraged one even ran at all. There are many upset about the fact that Chris Harrison was showcased on ABC with the message.
For those curious, Chris Harrison did net the most amount of money in the episode and earned $52,650 for the charity Feeding America. You wouldn't know from looking at ABC's official Twitter though, which quietly showcased the winnings by second-place finisher Robert Herjavec instead.
ABC does not have evidence of Chris Harrison's appearance on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune on its Twitter account at the time of writing. Regardless of what side you are on in the issue, he's a controversial topic, which once again leaves many wondering why the episode was aired in the first place.
The situation with Chris Harrison and The Bachelor is ongoing, and it's still up in the air what his future with the franchise will be. Some former contestants have already stated they wouldn't feel comfortable returning to the franchise with him involved, though an official decision has not been announced on whether he will return.
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune airs on ABC Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Do you think ABC made a mistake in airing an episode with Chris Harrison so close to the controversy? Sound off in our poll and see what The Bachelor's Matt James had to say about the controversy here.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.