The Bachelor has once again found itself in the middle of controversy, this time over its host Chris Harrison.
This season of the ABC reality show featured Matt James as the first-ever Black Bachelor, but the final episodes have largely been overshadowed by contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's racial controversy for attending an antebellum social event in 2018.
Chris Harrison subsequently stood down as presenter of the After the Final Rose special on Monday night following a TV interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, where he suggested Kirkconnell's actions needed to be judged by 2018 standards.
Critics pointed out that Harrison's point was ill-made, as 2018 was only a few years ago and the dialogue about the horrors of the antebellum south in the US are widely taught in schools.
Harrison later claimed his "intentions were simply to ask for grace" on Kirkconnell's behalf, but he was supposed to be replaced by Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man author Emmanuel Acho as host of the finale special.
And while Acho did conduct interviews with Matt James about why he'd dumped Kirkconnell after the final rose ceremony, Harrison continued to be featured as well by recording voiceover promos for upcoming segments.
At one point, Harrison was even heard announcing a segment where "Emmanuel Acho dives into the shocking conclusion" – meaning he'd recorded it after he'd stepped down as host for the finale.
This decision by producers wasn't well-received by some fans, including the Bachelor Diversity Campaign social media group who have been calling for greater representation across the franchise.
A tweet from the group asked: "Is it really 'stepping aside' if your face and voice are everywhere?"
The group also pointed out that not allowing Emmanuel Acho to record his own promos undermined his role as host for the special.
"Honestly, @EmmanuelAcho is FULLY capable of doing his own voiceover work for #TheBachelor. There is no excuse for this @ABCNetwork," they tweeted. "Give us (& @chrisbharrison) the actual break you promised."
Digital Spy has reached out to representatives from the show at ABC to comment on viewer complaints over After the Rose.
As it stands, Harrison will not be returning for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, as he's set to be replaced for now by Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
You can learn more about the topics raised in this article from Black Lives Matter. For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
Digital Spy's digital magazine is back! Read all issues now with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don't forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
You Might Also Like