Chris Harrison leaves “Bachelor” franchise after racism controversy

LOS ANGELES, Jun 8 (.) – The host of the popular dating show “Bachelor” will be leaving after nearly 20 years, ABC Entertainment said Tuesday, following controversy over racially insensitive comments.

Chris Harrison, who has hosted ABC’s “The Bachelor,” and spinoff shows such as “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” since 2002, will not return after temporarily retiring in February, ABC and producer Warner Horizon said in a joint statement. .

“Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise,” the companies said.

Harrison’s future with the franchise had been in limbo since February, when he sparked controversy over comments he made defending “The Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.

Images of Kirkconnell attending a party in 2018 wearing Native American attire as a college student appeared on social media as the show aired.

Harrison’s comments fueled a long-standing debate about the lack of diversity in the “The Bachelor” franchise and came at times of tension in the United States, following massive protests in 2020 over the deaths of unarmed black women and men. while in police custody.

Despite launching in 2002, the franchise did not have a black person as its main participant until 2017, when Rachel Lindsay was cast as the first black “single.”

Tuesday’s statement did not say who will replace Harrison as the franchise host.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; edited in Spanish by Lucila Sigal)

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