Chris Harrison’s ‘Bachelor’ future on air as Matt James, Bachelor Nation speaks

Chris Harrison’s calls for firing from the Bachelor franchise grow louder as Taylor Nolan and previous contestants weigh in on his future. (Photo: ABC via Getty Images)

The Bachelor He has a problem with Chris Harrison. Well, the franchise actually has a lot of problems, but Harrison, who is essentially the face of the Bachelor Nation, is about to implode.

As calls for Harrison’s firing grow louder, Matt James, the show’s first Black Bachelor in 25 seasons, broke his silence around the controversy ahead of Monday’s new episode. James specifically called Harrison’s words “troubling and painful” to excuse historical racism. Harrison apologized and announced on February 13 that he was temporarily “standing aside” after defending the past racist actions of leader Rachael Kirkconnell.

“Chris’s inability to receive and understand the emotional work that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on in kindly and patiently explaining the racist story of Antebellum South, a painful story that every American should understand intimately, was disturbing and painful to watch.” James said of Harrison’s interview on Extra. “As Blacks and Allies knew and understood immediately, it was a clear reflection of a problem much bigger than The Bachelor the franchise has failed to address it properly for years. “

According to the former Single Y Bachelor in Paradise Contestant Taylor Nolan, Harrison’s words aren’t that surprising to many at Bachelor Nation.

“I was surprised that he didn’t realize it. I was surprised that no matter how well trained he is, he didn’t know that he should probably shut his mouth because he is about to show himself,” the psychotherapist told Yahoo Entertainment. . “He just let out his truth, which many of us already know, but never did so in such an open way. At the same time, I’m do not surprised, he didn’t realize himself because he really believed what he was saying, he didn’t really think he was saying anything bad. He thought it was a great conversation! “

During Harrison’s conversation with Lindsay, he asked people to show Kirkconnell a little “grace” after photos surfaced of her attending an Antebellum themed party in 2018. He also said it’s not fair for people to inquire into the voting records of her and her parents. . Nolan believes that Harrison was “in a way, trying to defend himself” in that interview. (Lindsay, who was cast as the first black female lead in 2017, said something similar.)

“Who do you vote for [does say something about you]”, Explain.” I think it was being cast on Rachael K. These are things that people in the franchise … know very well. That Chris is more conservative, that he’s a Republican, that he’s a very wealthy older white man in a high position of power who has rarely, if ever, shared his power with marginalized groups of people. “

Harrison has not spoken publicly about his own political views. Yahoo reached out to its publicist for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

According to the Let’s talk about it with Taylor Nolan A podcast host, some former non-white contestants felt “a little uncomfortable with” Harrison, given his political views.

“And not only because of his own personal stances, or the lack of them publicly, but also because he represents what the franchise stands for, and the franchise has not represented the BIPOC community, it has not represented the non-heteronormative community and [represents] “The European standards of slim beauty that our dominant culture maintains,” he says. “Since Chris represents what the franchise stands for, I think it’s part of what made this a no-brainer for a lot of people.”

A spokesperson for the Bachelor Diversity Campaign also told Yahoo that the group was not surprised after Harrison’s comments made headlines.

“We are all fans of the show and the reason we joined is because we know The Bachelor has a problem with race. Chris Harrison, as an executive producer and as the face of the franchise, plays a role in that. Sometimes it has been encoded, or in what is missing instead of what is seen, but it has always been there. Now it is amplified, “says the group.” We are also not surprised by the consequences. This has been a long time coming. … as Rachel [Lindsay] He said, the only thing that was surprising was Chris’s decision to speak out so passionately and publicly in his rejection of racism. “

Ivan Hall, a fan favorite of Tayshia Adams’ season of High school, He said ME! News he won’t Bachelor in Paradise with Harrison as host. Previous Bachelorette party Y Bachelor in Paradise Star Mike Johnson believes Harrison should be “removed” from the franchise, but not canceled. Nolan believes The Bachelor the franchise “can absolutely go on” without Harrison as host.

“The amount of airtime that he has, it’s not like he’s narrating the entire show. I mean, before going on the show, he would preview all these conversations that people have with Chris because he wasn’t really asking any real questions.” Nolan he adds, but says the decision eventually comes to ABC and Warner Bros.

“I just think ABC and Warner Bros. have to be willing to take that risk, to really change their franchise, to change the face of their franchise, to change what their franchise stands for. And it can be a difficult position to fill because the very dedicated Bachelor Nation clings to [Harrison]. They feel very strongly for him. So it’s certainly a tough decision to make, but frankly, it’s an easy thing to do right now, “explains Nolan.

Yahoo reached out to Warner Bros. to comment on Harrison’s future, but did not immediately receive a response.

Two petitions have been created, one to retain Harrison and one to fire Harrison, with the latter having more than twice as many signatures. But the Bachelor Diversity Campaign hopes that the important message will not get lost in the “cancellation culture.”

“We hope you are beginning to understand the difference between responsibility and the ‘cancellation culture,’ and that your apologies reflect your genuine contrition and openness to growth,” says a spokesperson for the group, addressing Harrison directly. “If so, we encourage you to address the considerable number of your fans who continue to defend your defense of racism (look no further than your post comments!), And attack those like Rachel Lindsay, Taylor Nolan, Victoria Price and Mikayla Bartholomew from The Blckchelorettes podcast, and others, who have led these important conversations with grace.

“We hope this is a wake-up call for you. We encourage you and The Bachelor franchise it represents, to see the magnitude of the backlash and recognize that this would not have happened if the problem had not been systemic, both in its own worldview and in the treatment of the franchise’s race, “the group says.” We truly hope you do better, but it should not be at the expense of the cast, crew, employees, and viewers of BIPOC, nor should it be while you host or executive produce on The Bachelor franchise.”

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