Bachelor Nation has been full of twists and turns, with Chris Harrison’s exit being among the most shocking. The longtime host, 52, left the franchise after immense backlash over his defending of season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist behavior. Looking back on his sudden departure in a new interview, Chris admits the situation was “tumultuous” for him.
“The show was a blessing,” Chris said on the Trading Secrets podcast, hosted by The Bachelorette alum Jason Tartick. “I still look at this as a blessing in my life. It was hard at first, obviously, it wasn’t immediate where I felt great about everything because what I went through was tumultuous. I don’t wish it on anybody.”
Chris admitted that the fallout to his defense of Rachael was “horrifying on a lot of levels” and “something that I pray to God my worst enemy never goes through.” He added, “But, with that said, I knew I had to remove myself from what became a very toxic situation, and I did, and that was a very difficult situation.”
The 52-year-old noted that he’s “proud” of his decision to walk away. “I’m proud that I handled it the way I did and I still look at it as a blessing because it changed my life on so many levels,” he said. “Financially, of course. It changed my life. It changed my kids’ lives.”
He continued, “It was a blessing. It changed my life, but at the same time, I can also be grateful that I’m gone. That’s a relationship I don’t need to be in anymore because it wasn’t healthy.”
The controversy started during Chris’ February 2021 interview with The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay. The host defended Rachael when photos surfaced of her attending a plantation-themed college formal in 2018. He later apologized for speaking “in a manner that perpetuates racism.” Chris soon announced he was taking a break from the franchise, and he left for good in June 2021.
Chris had hosted the shows of Bachelor Nation for almost 2 decades. After his departure, Jesse Palmer took over as host of the Bachelor Nation franchise.