Warner Entertainment has issued their first statement regarding Chris Harrison’s departure from The Bachelor.
In a tweet shared by ABC News’ Kelsey Walsh, Warner shared remarks regarding Harrison’s exit.
“Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey,” it read.
This came on the heels of a report this morning that said that Harrison, ABC, and Warner Entertainment had parted ways after almost a 20-year partnership and a successful franchise.
Harrison also posted a statement on his Instagram page where he shared his excitement for the future.
“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime,” he wrote.
What will happen for the Bachelor franchise moving forward?
Harrison’s future with the show has remained uncertain after he was asked about then-contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who had shared racially insensitive posts via Instagram. After being condemned by Bachelor Nation for photographs where she was dressed in antebellum clothing at an Old South fraternity party, Harrison appeared to stand with the young woman who appeared as a contestant on Season 25 of The Bachelor.
“This poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions, I don’t know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this. And my guess is, this woman needs a little time,” he said to Rachel Lindsay, a correspondent for the evening entertainment series Extra. “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion.”
After receiving backlash for his commentary, Harrison said he would take a step back from the franchise to become a better person. He shared his apology via Instagram.
Since Harrison’s departure, Emmanuel Acho hosted The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe stepped in as hosts for Katie Thurston’s current season and David Spade was tapped as a guest host for Bachelor in Paradise. There has been no host set for Michelle Young’s fall season as the star of The Bachelorette.
Where does this leave Chris Harrison now?
Harrison will reportedly receive a hefty payday for not speaking out about the inner workings of the franchise.
Variety reported that insiders claimed Harrison wanted to stay on as host of The Bachelor, a job he has held since the show premiered in 2002. Harrison was reportedly passionate about remaining in the position but the situation at hand made it impossible for him to carry on his duties after former stars vocally expressed their displeasure at having him return.
Harrison’s team was reportedly upset with the way he was made to wait out any potential for a return for the past three months while other hosts were put into place for both The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. This resulted in escalated talks and a compensation package was put together for Harrison to make a permanent exit. This resulted in a reported eight-figure payout.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.