'The Bachelor' host Chris Harrison stepping away after racial controversy

Chris Harrison
Posted at 8:35 AM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 09:35:08-05

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Chris Harrison, host of “The Bachelor,” says he is stepping down from his TV role and is “ashamed” for his handling of a swirling racial controversy at the ABC dating show.

In a new statement posted Saturday, Harrison apologized again for defending the actions by a contestant that many consider offensive.

“By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong,” Harrison wrote in part.

Harrison came under fire after an interview on “Extra” when he was asked about racially insensitive past behavior from current “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.

Past photos of Kirkconnell resurfaced in which she is dressed in costume as a Native American and at an antebellum plantation themed ball.

Kirkconnell remains a contestant on the reality show that features women vying for love with the first Black 'Bachelor,' Matt James.