Chris Harrison will be sitting out as the host of the next season of The Bachelorette. He has been hosting the show since 2003, but a recent controversy has forced him to step down.
“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of ‘The Bachelorette.’ We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing,” said a joint statement from ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon, which confirmed Chris’ removal.
Chris Harrison has been facing backlash for defending the controversial Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Rachael sparked an escalating scandal after fans dug out some of her old photos showing her in attendance at an Old South plantation-themed fraternity party. She also liked pictures on social media containing the confederate flag, and was accused on TikTok of bullying a classmate for dating a Black man.
Chris Harrison hit the boiling point of the controversy when he made comments on the “woke police”, trying to defend Rachael Kirkconnell. He even suggested that Kirkconnell’s photos were not offensive when they were taken in 2018 – a statement that did not go well with fans. It lead Chris Harrison to step down from the current season of ‘The Bachelor”, and now, the next season of ‘The Bachelorette’ too.
But who would be hosting the next season then?
After many speculations, it is confirmed that the season would instead be hosted by two of the most popular alums of the franchise- Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
“In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season,” the statement announcing Chris Harrison’s withdrawal continued. “As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”
The Bachelorette is all set to start rolling sometime next week. Keeping in mind the Covid-19 regulations, The Bachelorette may be filmed in a sequestered bubble. Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe have already been quarantined on site, along with the other contestants. We may also expect to see Katie Thurston in the season, according to a report by Variety.
However, Chris Harrison may still have some hopes of making a return to the franchise as no permanent decision about his future in the show has been made, as per sources from the show. Additionally, neither Tayshia nor Kaitlyn would be named “host” or “co-host,” indicating that their hosting gigs may not be permanent.
Tayshia and Kaitlyn are not new to the television experience.
Adams had recently starred as “The Bachelorette” in the season that aired in 2020. She replaced original star Clare Crawley, who left her season early after finding love. Tayshia Adams, who is now engaged to Zac Clark on the dating show, had expressed interest in television hosting, and recently guest-hosted “Entertainment Tonight.”
Kaitlyn Bristowe was first introduced to Bachelor Nation as a contestant on Chris Soules’ season of “The Bachelor,” then became “The Bachelorette” for Season 11 in 2015. She is one of the most popular “Bachelor” alums of all time, and recently competed and won Season 29 of “Dancing With the Stars.”
“The Bachelorette” Season 17, with Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, is expected to debut in the spring.