According to the joint statement from Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment, two popular former Bachelorettes, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, have been chosen to replace Harrison.
“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” the statement reads per PEOPLE Magazine. “We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season.”
Harrison stepped away from the show in February after defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. The contestant on the current season of The Bachelor posted pictures of herself dressed in Native American attire as a costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. During a conversation with Extra, he urged the public to have “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” for Kirkconnell because the pictures were taken three years ago.
Harrison’s defense and Kirkconnell’s post created a wave of backlash. She has since apologized for her actions and condemned those who defended her racist behavior.
“If you are in my comments or defending me anywhere telling people that I did nothing wrong, that there’s nothing to be hurt about, there’s nothing to be angry about or offended about, please stop,” she said in a series of Instagram posts. “That’s not our place to tell people what they can and can’t be offended about. That’s wrong and that’s part of the problem.”
She went on to claim that she’ll continue to amplify the voice of BIPOC, which was echoed by the show’s production.
“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,” the joint statement continues. “These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”
At this moment, it is unclear how long Harrison will be away from the show. Prior to the recent announcement, he made it clear to Good Morning America that he would be returning to the show eventually. While he’s away, he’ll be seeking counsel from “a race educator and strategist” as well as faith leaders and scholars, like Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.
“Dr. Dyson often talks to me about counsel, not cancel. That is full accountability … owning from that, learning from that,” Harrison said on GMA. “Seeking council from the community that you hurt, gaining experience knowledge and moving forward.”
The Bachelor: After the Final Rose will air on Monday, March 15 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC following the conclusion of The Bachelor season finale.