The bachelor Chris Harrison has a problem. Well, the franchise actually has a lot of problems, but Harrison, who is essentially the face of Bachelor Nation, is one that is about to implode.
As calls for Harrison’s dismissal grew louder, Matt James, the show’s first Black Bachelor in 25 seasons, broke his silence on the controversy ahead of the new episode on Monday. James explicitly evoked Harrison’s “troubling and painful” words that excused historical racism. Harrison apologized and announced on February 13 that he would temporarily “step aside” after defending front runner Rachael Kirkconnell’s racist actions in the past.
“Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional work that my friend Rachel Lindsay did in graciously and patiently clarifying the racist story of Antebellum South, a painful story that every American should fully understand, was troubling and painful to look at, “said James of Harrison’s interview on extra. “As blacks and allies knew and understood immediately, this was a clear reflection of a much larger problem, the The bachelor Franchise has not been adequately addressed for years. “
According to earlier Bachelor and Bachelor in paradise Candidate Taylor Nolan, Harrison’s words are not too surprising to many in Bachelor Nation.
“I was surprised that he didn’t get caught. I was surprised that, as good as he is, he didn’t know that he should probably shut up because he wanted to show himself,” the psychotherapist told Yahoo Entertainment. “He’s just revealed his truth, which many of us already know, but he’s never been so open. At the same time, I am Not surprised that he didn’t catch himself because he really believes in what he said, he really didn’t believe he was saying anything wrong. He thought that was a great conversation! “
During Harrison’s conversation with Lindsay, he asked people to show Kirkconnell a bit of “grace” after photos of their participation in an antebellum-themed party in 2018 surfaced. He also said it was not fair for people to delve into her and her parents’ voting papers. Nolan believes that Harrison was “trying to defend himself in a way” in this interview. (Lindsay, who was cast as the first black lead in 2017, said something similar.)
“Who you choose [does say something about you]”she explains.” I think he was projecting onto Rachael K. These are things that the folks in the franchise are … aware. That Chris is more conservative, that he is Republican, that he is a very wealthy elderly white man in a high position of power who has rarely, if ever, shared his power with marginalized groups of people. “
Harrison has not spoken publicly about his own political views. Yahoo asked its publicist for comment but did not get an immediate response.
According to the Let’s talk to Taylor Nolan about it As a podcast host, some former non-white candidates felt “a little uncomfortable” with Harrison given his political views.
“And not only because of his own personal attitude or a lack of it in public, but also because he represents what the franchise represents, and the franchise did not represent the BIPOC community, did not represent the non-heteronormative community and [represents] Thin beauty European standards that our mainstream culture holds, “she says.” Because Chris represents what the franchise represents, I think it’s part of what this has made no secret to many people. “
A spokesperson for the Bachelor Diversity Campaign also told Yahoo the group wasn’t surprised after Harrison’s comments hit the headlines.
“We’re all fans of the show and the reason we came together is because we know The bachelor has a problem with the race. Chris Harrison, both executive producer and face of the franchise, plays a role in this. It has sometimes been encoded or in what is missing and not in what is seen, but it was always there. Now it’s just reinforced, “says the group.” We’re not surprised by the consequences either. That took a long time. … as Rachel [Lindsay] The only thing that came as a surprise was Chris’ decision to speak so passionately and publicly when he opposed racism. “
Ivan Hall, a fan favorite from Tayshia Adams’ season of The Bachelorette, told IS! news he won’t do it Bachelor in paradise with Harrison as the host. Former Bachelorette and Bachelor in paradise Star Mike Johnson believes Harrison should be “removed” from the franchise but not canceled. Nolan believes The bachelor Franchise “absolutely can go on” without Harrison as a host.
“The airtime he gets isn’t like he’s narrating the whole show. I mean, before I went on the show, I’d fast-forward all of the conversations people have with Chris because he’s not really any Really asked questions! “” Nolan adds, but says that the final decision rests with ABC and Warner Bros.
“I just think ABC and Warner Bros. have to be willing to take that risk, to really change their franchise, to change the face of their franchise, to change what their franchise stands for. And it can be difficult to fill a position because The very committed Bachelor Nation continues [Harrison]. You feel very strong for him. It’s certainly a tough decision, but honestly it’s an easy one right now, “said Nolan.
Yahoo reached out to Warner Bros. for comment on Harrison’s future, but did not receive an immediate response.
Two Change.org petitions have been drawn up, one to keep Harrison and one to fire Harrison, the latter having more than twice as many signatures. The Bachelor Diversity Campaign hopes, however, that the important message is not lost in the “break culture”.
“We hope that you begin to understand the difference between accountability and ‘breaking culture’ and that your apologies reflect your genuine remorse and openness to growth,” said a group spokesman, addressing Harrison directly. If so, we encourage you to reach out to the sizable number of your fans who continue to defend your defenses against racism (look no further than your post comments!) And those like Rachel Lindsay, Taylor Nolan, Victoria Price and Mikayla Bartholomew from attacking The Blckchelorettes Podcast and others who have had these important conversations with grace.
“We hope this is a wake-up call for you. We encourage you and The bachelor Franchise you represent to look at the scale of the backlash and realize that it would not have happened if the problem hadn’t been systemic – both in your own worldview and in the franchise’s treatment of the race, “says the Group.” We sincerely hope you do better, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the BIPOC cast, crew, staff, and viewers, nor should it be while you’re the host or executive producer The bachelor Franchise.”