Chris Harrison controversy puts ‘Bachelor’ race issues back in the spotlight

Harrison was being interviewed by Rachel Lindsay, a present Extra host and former star of 2017’s “The Bachelorette,” when he defended a present contestant who was reportedly photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.

Harrison has since apologized, writing on his Instagram that he was “deeply remorseful” for the ache and harm his “ignorance” had dropped at his “friends, colleagues and strangers alike,” earlier than saying he would take a “period of time” away from his internet hosting duties throughout this “historic season” of “The Bachelor,” which options the present’s first Black lead, Matt James.

The franchise, which debuted in 2002, didn’t solid an individual of coloration as its lead till Lindsay, who’s Black. Now, she has stated she now not needs to be related to the collection.

“I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough,” Lindsay stated on the newest episode of her Higher Learning podcast following her interview with Harrison. “How much more do I want to be affiliated with this? I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. Okay, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant. Who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too.”

When James was solid as “The Bachelor” final summer time, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke stated in a press release, “We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience.”

His casting adopted a Change.org petition calling on ABC and Warner Bros., which produces “The Bachelor,” to enhance range on the collection and its spinoff exhibits.

“The franchise, and all those who represent it, should reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country–both in front of and behind the camera,” the petition learn. (Like CNN, Warner Bros. is a part of WarnerMedia.)

Following Harrison’s interview with Lindsay, contestants on the present season of “The Bachelor” released a joint statement on Instagram, writing in half, “We are the women of Bachelor Season 25. Twenty-five women who identify as BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] were cast on this historic season that was meant to represent change. We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized.”

Despite the addition of extra contestants of coloration in current seasons — and the casting of Juan Pablo Galavis, who’s Latino, as Season 18’s “Bachelor” — each critics and followers of the franchise have stated work towards progress stays.

Harrison, for his half, recommended he agrees.

“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before,” Harrison stated in his assertion. “I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”

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