Normally, the major drama of a reality dating show is within the confines of the show itself. But in Matt James’ Bachelor season, the biggest snafu was happening outside the mansion while the show was still airing (seemingly in the background). Racial insensitive photos emerged, which featured one of the contestants vying for James’ love. The situation was brought up during the now infamous Extra interview between host Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay, which brought on a swift and severe backlash for Harrison. He has since exited the ABC franchise – for good – but new details are coming out that are a little surprising.
So yeah, that infamous Extra interview that landed Chris Harrison in all this hot water and prompted his exit from a nearly 20-year-long hosting gig? Apparently, it could have never happened in the first place. Variety confirmed from multiple behind-the-scenes sources that Harrison was never asked to do the interview by ABC or any publicist. He supposedly volunteered to do it himself.
If Chris Harrison had never volunteered to weigh in on a very sensitive topic, without much sensitivity to all the parties involved, then he might still be hosting Bachelor Nation. The ex-host was accused of talking over Rachel Lindsay’s perspective as a Black woman, concerning the controversial photos of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. He also was criticized for appearing to brush aside the situation as not so serious.
Alas, none of us can turn back time. We can only move forward, which Chris Harrison has done by apologizing publicly for his words during the interview. He also temporarily left Bachelor Nation as its host, but it was confirmed a few weeks ago that the change would be permanent. At the time, it was reported that Harrison would be receiving a substantial eight-figure payout for his exit. According to Variety though, it is only just so, with his settlement including $9 million as well as “remaining contractual fees.”
Other reports have indicated, however, that just because he is out from Bachelor Nation that things are not so dire for Chris Harrison. He has had the support of a lot of fans and even more Bachelor alums. And supposedly, a source recently claimed that he has “all kinds of offers on projects” and that “this isn't the end” of Harrison’s hosting career.
Meanwhile, the Bachelor Nation train continues on without Chris Harrison at the helm. Replacement hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are faring pretty well in Katie Thurston's current season of The Bachelorette, which is airing now. In fact, the two seem very engaged with Thurston's journey and decision process. However, the jury is still out as to whether the two women will remain as permanent hosts of the franchise or if ABC will implement rotating celebrity hosts as it apparently is for Bachelor in Paradise.
At the very least, the messy situation regarding Chris Harrison and ABC's Bachelor franchise appears to be finally coming to an end. There's no telling where the host will end up next but, if reports are to be believed, he could be back on TV sooner rather than later.