‘I’m A Longtime ‘Bachelor’ Fan And Chris Harrison Must Go For The Show To Have A Future’ – Women’s Health

Dear ABC,

The Bachelor franchise has no future with Chris Harrison. Enough is enough. Let's make this the most dramatic season ever and send the host home for good.

I've questioned my time spent on Monday nights off and on, but never so seriously as last week when I tuned into Chris Harrison's now infamous interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. He went on Extra to address the latest off-screen contestant scandal: racially insensitive photos from Rachael Kirkconnell's not-so-distant past.

In the interview, Chris had the audacity to mockingly tell Rachel: "Would this girl, at, I dont know how old she would have been back then, have thought, 'You know, historically, this mansion stood for this. Guys its not really that woke that were here.'" (ICYMI, photos came out of Rachael attending an "Old South" Kappa Alpha Order party in 2018 and appropriating native cultures in more recent costumes, which she took responsibility and apologized for after Chris's interview.)

Chris also made comments about the "woke police" holding people to impossible standards.

Less than a minute into the 14-minute farce and I felt ill, physically sick at his brazen disregard for Rachel or any other Black viewer's experience. (Note: I'm white and don't presume to comprehend the hurt the franchise has caused to BIPOC contestants and viewers this season, so I take this as an opportunity to be an ally and rally for change.)

When the backlash came fast and, understandably, furious, Chris backpedaled and issued what he called an "apology" on Instagram. "I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. 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."

But, Rachel expressed it best: "Tuesday was your truth." It reminds me of wise words from Maya Angelou: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." (Do you hear that ABC?)

After that, Chris followed up with another apology, this time stepping down from his usual end of season hosting duties. He won't appear at the After The Final Rose special, but what happens next is unclear.

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Chris's temporary leave of absence is a step in the right direction, but it's time to make that permanent. It's not about revenge or canceling him for a mistake, it's about moving The Bachelor and The Bachelorette forward and ensuring future contestants feel comfortable.

Perhaps one last Bachelor blast would be a fitting send off. Instead of airing season 25's usual Women Tell All, let's see Chris get grilled by this season's finest competitors, Matt James included, for a full two hours.

How sweet would it be to watch Michelle Young, Pieper James, and Chelsea Vaughn deliver the questions and control the commercial breaks?

Entertaining as that hypothetical hot seat could be, it wouldn't help fix what's clearly broken in the show. Perhaps cutting Chris Harrison's mic would be a start, though. Over 38,000 people and counting (including me) agree, having signed this Change.org petition to relieve him of his hosting and executive producer duties.

But, what's The Bachelor without Chris? A troubled franchise with a chance of a future, an opportunity to make real, long overdue changes. Sure, this season brought the first Black Bachelor with Matt James and the most diverse cast in 20 years. But the problems persisted as the Bachelor Data Instagram account proved week after week that dismal screen time was allotted to BIPOC contestants compared to white ones.

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White women still dominated the conversation, as the data clearly shows.

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Rachel is clearly rocking her host gig at Extra, and she seems primed to take over for Chris. That is, if she wants it. (Hint hint ABC.)

I hear them when they share their experience: "We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism. Any defense of racist behaviors denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals. These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized."

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I will continue to watch and cover season 25, as my way of supporting this strong, brave group of women and all of their emotional labor. I know filming wrapped in November, so editing out Chris is unlikely.

But going forward, I will hold the Bachelor franchise accountable. There is a real opportunity for conversations about racial justice and other topics that matter (with a side of Champagne-gate) as these contestants embark on their journeys to find love.

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'I'm A Longtime 'Bachelor' Fan And Chris Harrison Must Go For The Show To Have A Future' - Women's Health

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