Chris Harrison not returning to The Bachelorette next season following racism controversy

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chris Harrison will not host the forthcoming season ofThe Bachelorette amid the show’s ongoing racism controversy.

Last month, the long-time presenter announced that he would be temporarily stepping back from the reality TV series.

The decision came after Harrison took part in an interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, during which he sought to defend current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell against allegations of racist and offensive behaviour.

On Friday (12 March), it was confirmed that Harrison would not be hosting the next season of the dating show, with former contestants Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe instead presenting.

A statement from Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment read: “Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette. We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing.”

Read more: Bachelor alums on whether Chris Harrison should step away for good

“As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks."

It continued: “These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”

Read more: All current Bachelor contestants release statement denouncing racism

Earlier this month, Harrison described himself as an “imperfect man” during his first interview since the controversy.

“I made a mistake and I own that,” he said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for.”

Harrison also apologised to Lindsay and the Black community, saying that he was “committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise”.