In a brief snippet of his upcoming interview Thursday morning, “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison apologized again for his comments that defended a “Bachelor” contestant who appeared in racially insensitive photos.
“It was a mistake,” Harrison said in an interview that will air Thursday morning on “Good Morning America,” which you can watch above. “I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that.”
Thursday’s “GMA” interview, which airs on the same network as the longrunning reality TV franchise, marks his first interview since he stepped away from the ABC dating series’ currently airing season amid backlash over his support for a current contestant accused of racist behavior.
In a Feb. 9 interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay for “Extra,” Harrison defended Rachael Kirkconnell — a frontrunner on Matt James’ currently airing season of “The Bachelor,” the first to feature a Black bachelor — for a resurfaced photo in which she appears to be attending a plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.
Harrison was roundly criticized for the interview and his treatment of Lindsay, leading to two public apologies from Harrison, a public apology from Kirkconnell, and the Feb. 13 announcement that Harrison would temporarily be “stepping aside” as host of the show. (Emmanuel Acho has been tapped to replace him for the upcoming live season finale and “After the Final Rose” special on March 15.)
“The 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,” Harrison said at the time. “I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.”
A little over a week after Harrison made the announcement he was stepping aside, James posted a lengthy statement on Instagram calling the situation “devastating and heartbreaking.”
“Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch,” James wrote. “As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years.”
On Monday, “Bachelor” producers issued a statement condemning the online harassment Lindsay has received over her interview with Harrison and her remarks of uncertainty regarding if Harrison should remain host of the ABC reality dating franchise, which led her to delete her Instagram account.