Chris Harrison is breaking his silence after announcing that he will be taking a break from the “Bachelor” franchise.
On “Good Morning America,” Harrison sat down with Michael Strahan and addressed the controversial comments he made defending the “Bachelor” front-runner Rachael Kirkconnell. The current contestant is under fire for liking racist social media posts, including a Confederate flag, and attending an “Old South” plantation-themed party in 2018.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” Harrison said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
The controversy began when Harrison was interviewed by the former first Black “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay. In that discussion, Harrison would go on to say that people should give Kirkconnell some “grace” and explained how she was a victim of “cancel culture.”
“People are just tearing this girl’s life apart,” Harrison said to Lindsay during the interview. “I’m like, ‘Really?’”
When Lindsay explained how the photos at the Old South antebellum party weren’t a good look, Harrison said, “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”
Strahan asked Harrison whether he thought there was a difference between those photos in 2018 and 2021.
“There is not,” Harrison said. “Antebellum parties are not OK. Past, present, future, knowing what that represents is unacceptable.”
In recent weeks, Lindsay has been vocal about Harrison’s actions. The star has experienced harassment after the ongoing controversy about racism and since has deactivated her Instagram account.
Lindsay called out Harrison for his comments about contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist actions.
While talking to “Extra” host Billy Bush, Lindsay said she thinks it was the “right decision” for Harrison to step aside from being the host temporarily.
The 35-year-old star also expressed how she was “stunned” after her shocking interview with Harrison.
Harrison announced that he’ll be taking a break from his hosting duties on “The Bachelor” and apologized for the “pain my words have caused.”