Chris Harrison is no longer the host of The Bachelor franchise as reports claim he has officially left the series after 19 years.
The longtime presenter had originally stepped aside in February after he faced severe backlash over the way he ‘defended’ contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after she was accused of racially insensitive behavior in her past.
When Harrison, 49, announced his break from the show, many had assumed he would later return to his hosting duties later in the year.
However, it was reported by Deadline today that the TV star and ABC had reached an agreement that would allegedly see the host walk away with a ‘mid-range eight-figure payoff and promise to keep his mouth shut’.
An official announcement is expected to follow.
Multiple guest hosts had already stepped in for Harrison in various Bachelor Nation roles.
Emmanuel Acho was announced as his replacement as host of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, while Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are currently running the show on The Bachelorette.
Meanwhile, it had just been revealed that comedian David Spade would one of several stars who would share hosting duties for the upcoming season of Bachelor In Paradise.
Harrison has been keeping a low profile since he came under fire for racially insensitive comments he made to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay – the first Black female lead – while trying to defend Rachael Kirkconnell.
The TV star later issues an apology for his action as he stated: ‘I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I have said and the way I spoke.
‘I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same.
‘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.
‘To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you.
‘I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I’m so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.
‘This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After The Final Rose special.
‘I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before. I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues, and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.
‘From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man and I humble myself before all of you. I hope I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted Chris Harrison’s representatives for comment.
The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise airs on ABC, while it is available to stream on hayu in the UK.
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