Season 25 of The Bachelor was supposed to be a new beginning for the franchise. Fans have been clamoring for more diversity for several years on the flagship show, as well as The Bachelorette, and we were finally given both a black male lead in Matt James, and a season with the most BIPOC ever seen at once. Unfortunately, there have been several behind the scenes controversies regarding racism, not to mention some on-camera difficulties with representation, which have stopped many fans dead in their tracks, including host Chris Harrison having to step down after making some comments which angered many. We still have questions as to whether or not Harrison will return, but some new details have emerged.
Here's what's going on. We knew that the franchise was desperate to get back on its regular filming schedule and stick to it after the extended delays of 2020, which would mean The Bachelorette beginning to film at some point in March. According to a new report from TMZ, the entire cast and crew for The Bachelorette Season 17 is now quarantining at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico (which is between Albuquerque and Santa Fe), so that they can begin filming on the new season in a couple of weeks. But, if you're eager to see Chris Harrison at the start of Season 17, he isn't currently in the quarantine bubble.
Of course, it's hard to tell right now whether or not this actually means that Harrison will be on the shelf for at least the entirety of The Bachelorette. From what the site's anonymous sources close to the show said, The Bachelorette is actively in pre-production, with a flurry of video meetings and calls currently going on, and the plan is still to begin filming late this month, but no firm decision has been made on whether or not Harrison will return to his post during Season 17, later, or not at all.
Apparently, not only has a decision not been made on Chris Harrison's potential return, but no one knows for sure who will host The Bachelorette Season 17 yet, even though filming is still said to be just a couple of weeks away. It's being speculated that the producers and ABC are waiting to see what will come of The Bachelor finale and After the Final Rose, which air this coming Monday. The ATFR portion of the finale was filmed last week, and saw former NFL linebacker and host of YouTube's Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho, step in for Harrison and lead the proceedings.