The Bachelor host Chris Harrison says he's sorry he defended the show's Rachael Kirkconnell
Updated: Feb 13
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison took to Instagram Wednesday with an apology after making comments about a racial controversy on the show that raised eyebrows.
'To my Bachelor Nation family - I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology,' Harrison said in the social media post. 'I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed.'
The 49-year-old TV host clarified his stance in making comments to Extra's Rachel Lindsay (formerly of The Bachelorette) suggesting 'a little grace, a little understanding' and 'a little compassion' toward Kirkconnell as he discussed the details of a racial scandal the contestant was tied to years ago.
She attended a bash described as 'antebellum plantation themed ball' in images that showed up on Reddit.
The Dallas native said, 'While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf.'
'What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.
'I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.'
In the segment, Harrison initially called for 'a little understanding' toward Kirkconnell, when Lindsay said that the scandal was 'not a good look' for the contestant.
Harrison responded, 'Is it [not] a good look in 2018? Or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.'
He continued, 'The woke police is out there. And this poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions, I don’t know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this.'
Speaking with ET earlier this month, Matt James - who is the first Black contestant in The Bachelor's history - opened up on his reaction to the scandal surrounding Kirkconnell.
'I have not spoken to anybody since the show ended, but I would say that you have to be really careful about what you are doing on social media,' James told the show. 'Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people's lives.
'So I would give people the benefit of the doubt, and hopefully she will have her time to speak on that ... everyone has a story, and I would just be receptive to that.'