It has been almost three weeks since Chris Harrison did the infamous interview with Rachel Lindsey for Extra that resulted in him stepping away from the franchise.
During that interview, Chris didn’t condemn racism. Instead, he said that it wasn’t up to him to judge what other people were doing.
That interview resulted in a major backlash, causing Chris to announce that he was temporarily stepping back to focus on learning about the harm he had caused.
Now, Chris is ready to speak out about the changes he’s making to ensure people know that he made a mistake and he’s learning from it.
Chris Harrison says he made a mistake
Chris sat down with Michael Strahan, where he revealed that he was not perfect and that his mistakes during the interview don’t define who he is.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” Chris revealed on Good Morning America this morning.
“I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
Michael asked Chris about his interview with Rachel and how he felt now that he understood what she was trying to tell him. Chris explained that he’s saddened and shocked to see how insensitive he was during that interview. He pointed out that he didn’t speak out against antebellum parties.
However, Chris did take the chance to set the record straight this morning.
“Those parties are not OK, past, present, future. And I didn’t speak from my heart. And that is to say that I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community.”
As for his self-education, Chris explained that he had sought out scholars, teachers, faith leaders, and people like Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. He also added that he had been working with a race educator and that he thanked them all for their help.
He explained that Dr. Dyson taught him that we need to “counsel” someone, not “cancel” them. That is the only way to be held fully accountable.
For Chris, he explained that he’s seeking counsel often in the community that he’s hurt from his mistakes, learning from them, listening, gaining experience, knowledge and moving forward. And that’s what he claimed he will continue to do.
As for his role in the franchise, Chris revealed he is planning on coming back. He didn’t provide a timeline.
“I plan to be back and I want to be back. And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change,” Chris revealed. “I know that change is felt, not just by me, but by many others. And we are excited and willing to do the work to show that progress.”
Chris Harrison wanted to be heard during his interview with Rachel Lindsay
During his Extra interview earlier in February, Chris revealed that he wasn’t the judge and jury when it came to Rachael Kirkconnell’s photos from 2018.
While Chris was trying to explain his perspective, he kept interrupting her, trying to tell Rachel that he was not in a place to judge Rachael.
After the interview, Rachel reflected on their conversation, saying that Chris spoke over her.
“During that conversation, he spoke over me and he spoke at me,” Lindsay said in her podcast, Higher Learning With Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay.
“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.”
It only took a few days for Chris to take action. It was mid-February when Chris revealed he would be stepping away from his hosting duties for the After The Final Rose special.
Emmanuel Acho has been named as his replacement for the segment. However, ABC hasn’t revealed who will host The Bachelorette season, which is set to start filming in the third week of March.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.