Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison Is ‘Stepping Aside' From Bachelor Franchise After ‘Excusing Historical Racism'

Chris Harrison said he is temporarily stepping back from Bachelor Nation and "will not join for the 'After the Final Rose' special" after receiving backlash for defending Rachael Kirkconnell

Chris Harrison
Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

Chris Harrison is issuing another apology.

After taking some time to reflect on his controversial comments about "Bachelor" contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, the ABC host took to Instagram on Saturday, Feb. 13 to acknowledge his actions and address the backlash he's received.

"Hello everyone, I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have cause [sic], and I am deeply remorseful," Chris began his caption. "My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke."

"I set standards for myself, and have not met them," he continued. "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 uniformed [sic] I was. I was so wrong."

Chris then spoke to the people he directly hurt, writing, "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 the enlightening conversations with over the past few days," he noted, "and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism."

The Bachelor Nation star, who has been hosting Matt James' season of "The Bachelor," said that after much reflection, he will temporarily take a step back from the franchise.

"The historic season of 'The Bachelor' should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions," he shared. "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."

At this time, it's unclear how long Chris' departure will be for and if he'll be replaced. E! News has reached out to ABC for comment and has yet to hear back.

The 49-year-old host explained that he plans to use this time to learn and grow from his mistakes.

"I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before," he explained. "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," he added, "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."

This story is still developing... more to come.

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