Former Bachelor producer speaks out about Chris Harrison controversy

Chris Harrison stars on The Bachelor.
Chris Harrison has spoken out about exiting The Bachelor franchise. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

A former producer of The Bachelor has spoken out about the controversy surrounding Chris Harrison’s comments to Rachel Lindsay regarding former contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, who worked as a producer on the reality dating series from 2002 to 2004, thinks the franchise has a bigger problem than Chris’s comments.

She told Us Weekly that she doesn’t think the show’s underlying issues lay in this one season or one girl. She believed it was a “top-down problem” in the franchise and was glad people were starting to talk about it.

Sarah claimed that on the heels of Chris’ commentary, it was the right move for the show to bring in female hosts and former franchise stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe to helm the next two installments of The Bachelorette

“I think it’s such a move in the right direction. Like, watching Chris’ interview on Extra, I was like, ‘This is a master class in oppression, and it feels so dated.’ Like, it feels like such a dinosaur,” she exclaimed.

The former Bachelor producer shared her take on the exchange between Chris and Rachel Lindsay that set the wheels in motion for the host to step down from his position temporarily.

Sarah said Chris’ commentary to Rachel Lindsay was ‘behind the times’

“Him cutting [Lindsay] off and talking over her and saying like, ‘Well, I don’t know which group is right in this case,’ and it’s like, well, obviously the group that’s oppressed probably knows more about it than you do,” said Sarah.

“He just seems so behind the times, and I think that it’s such an appropriate decision to just update the franchise. Take a look at the executive producer ranks, take a look at the host, like, bring it into 2021.”

Sarah also said she was not in favor of how Chris responded to Rachel Lindsay during the interview and how he defended Rachael Kirkconnell’s actions.

Photos of the winner of Matt James’ heart wearing antebellum clothing during a college fraternity party surfaced.

She said that Chris’ claims of not knowing if a picture at a plantation would’ve been a good look in 2018 touched a nerve.

She co-created the show UnREAL about her behind-the-scenes view of The Bachelor

Matt James and Chris Harrison of The Bachelor.
Matt James and Chris Harrison starred on the 25th season of The Bachelor. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

The producer, who co-created the show UnREAL about her experiences within the franchise, said the concept of a black male lead for the dating show was discussed before Matt James taking the helm.

“It was definitely talked about. Like, UnREAL had a Black male lead before the other show had [one] … and so I absolutely know he was aware of that and I just call complete and utter bulls**t on that being his defense,” she explained.

The Bachelor is currently on hiatus.

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