Chris Harrison Apologizes as ‘The Bachelor’ Host Comes Under Fire for Controversial Interview That ‘Perpetuates Racism’

Earlier this year, social media accusations began to swirl against a frontrunner on the current season of “The Bachelor,” who has been criticized for photos that have re-surfaced from her past.

The contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, appears to have been photographed in attendance at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal back in 2018, though she has not verified the authenticity of the pictures. Kirkconnell also has been accused on TikTok of racially-insensitive behavior, including liking photos containing the Confederate flag. The reality star has not responded to any of the claims.

In the midst of the bubbling controversy, Matt James — the first-ever Black star of “The Bachelor” who is currently dating Kirkconnell on the television show, among other women — has defended Kirkconnell in media interviews.

And then, Chris Harrison did, too.

During an interview that aired earlier this week on “Extra,” conducted by correspondent and former star of “The Bachelorette,” Rachel Lindsay, Harrison came out strong, speaking out against people who jump to conclusions with social media controversies.

The lengthy interview has received heavy backlash against Harrison, who is being criticized for defending racist behavior.

Harrison has apologized for his commentary, posting on his social media on Wednesday evening.

“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 posted.

“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,” Harrison continued. “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.”

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