Rachel Lindsay isn’t quite sure what will happen after Chris Harrison’s temporary hiatus from her Single hosting duties.
Harrison announced Saturday that he will not be the host The Bacheloris next After the final rose special after his controversial interview with Lindsay, where he defended Single Past racist actions of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Kirkconnell has since apologized for his behavior, as has Harrison.
“Where do we go from here as a franchise? It’s hard to say,” Lindsay said in Extra Monday. “Chris has stepped aside, which I think is the right decision … and I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong in that interview. He needs time. He needs to step aside to do that.”
Lindsay said it has been “difficult” for her to accept Harrison’s apology, as he walked away from Tuesday’s interview apparently well with his conversation. However, she said Monday that she doesn’t want to be “too quick to judge someone” either.
“He’s taken steps to issue not one, but two apologies. Let’s see what happens from there. I’ll say this: to see the contestants come together and speak, and say what they don’t stand for, I don’t.” I don’t know how we continue this way, “he said, referring to SingleY Bachelorette party casts uniting against Harrison’s “defense of racism.”
“How [continue with him as host] when the people of Bachelor Nation are upset, the contestants of this very show, the stars of the show, “asked Lindsay.” How are you going to represent the franchise when people were so upset by what they saw in that interview? “
Right after Matt James Single released last month, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell – one of the show’s early favorites – to intimidate her in the past for dating black men. So another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Photos of Kirkconnell have also appeared in an Old South plantation themed party while I was in college.
In a statement on Instagram Thursday, Kirkconnell apologized and said he hoped “to earn your forgiveness through my future actions.”
That apology came a day after Harrison issued his own statement, apologizing for “speaking incorrectly in a way that perpetuates racism” by defending Kirkconnell’s racist actions and asking people to offer him “grace.”
Many Bachelor Nation fans and members continued to speak out against him, and in a follow-up statement Saturday, Harrison revealed that he would be away for a “period of time.”
Lindsay also participated in a Reddit AMA on Monday, where he said he had many conversations with Harrison like the one they had during the interview he headed up last week. She praised the women of the James season for inspiring others to speak up, saying Hannah Brown’s response to the controversy “lacked substance” and said she believes Kirkconnell “escaped” the producers’ investigation before the show. .
The AMA came hours after Lindsay’s husband, Bryan Abasolo, criticized Harrison on his podcast with his partner. Bachelorette party student Mike Johnson.
“Chris Harrison is someone I respect a lot and I’m not going to lie, I definitely lost respect for him after watching that interview,” Abasolo said in Talk to Mike and Bryan Monday. “I thought what he said was irresponsible, hurtful and just unacceptable.”
“Now, we’re not talking about previous contestants on the show, coming and going, right?” he continued. “We’re talking about the face of this franchise, more than 20 years of this man on our television screens on a show that has been in need of a diversity makeover for years, I don’t think anyone is going to deny it.”
Johnson also denounced Harrison’s comments, as did many others in the franchise. #FireChrisHarrison was trending on Twitter during Monday’s episode of The Bachelor.
James addressed the controversy surrounding Kirkconnell in an interview with ET earlier this month. See what he said in the video below.