Chris Harrison said he's stepping aside as the longtime "The Bachelor" host after racially insensitive remarks he made during an interview last week with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black "Bachelorette."
It started over an Antebellum-themed frat party a current contestant once attended. Rachael Kirkconnell apologized after photos surfaced of her attending an “old south” plantation party with her Georgia college sorority sisters in 2018. The women were wearing antebellum-style dresses.
“I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended," the 24-year-old wrote on Instagram. "I am ashamed about my lack of education. I deserve to be held accountable for my actions."
In an interview last week with Lindsay, Harrison defended Kirkconnell's actions, prompting widespread backlash.
“By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong," Harrison wrote on Instagram.
Lindsay said on “Good Morning America,” that she’s “happy that Chris is taking the steps that he needs to take to realize the gravity of the situation.”
“I think that this is the right move,” she continued.
Harrison says he hopes the strides the show has made having a Black "Bachelor" this season won't be overshadowed by his mistakes.
Kirkconnell isn’t the first public figure to apologize for involvement with a plantation party. Last year, actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively said they were sorry for holding their 2012 wedding at South Carolina’s Boone Hall, where enslaved people once lived.
"It’s something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for. It’s impossible to reconcile,” Reynolds said.
Numerous wedding planning sites, including Pinterest and The Knot, have stopped promoting plantations as wedding venues because of their violent history of slavery.