Emmanuel Acho to replace Chris Harrison on ‘The Bachelor: After the Final Rose’

The former football player, turned best-selling author will take over hosting duties after a racial controversy.

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Emmanuel Acho has been tasked with replacing Chris Harrison as host The Bachelor: After the Final Rose following a controversy involving a contestant’s potentially racist past.

Read More: Rachel Lindsay deletes Instagram following racist ‘hate’ from ‘Bachelor’ fans

Variety confirmed Acho will take the stage during the special episode. The Bachelor: After the Final Rose is set to air March 15, after the show broadcasts the season finale. As host, the former NFL player will sit with Matt James the lead bachelor this season, as well as his final three women: Bri, Michelle, and Rachael.

SiriusXM Radio Row - Day 1
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 02: Current NFL player Emmanuel Acho visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 51 Radio Row at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 2, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

“It’s both an honor and privilege to be hosting After the Final Rose. This is an incredibly pivotal episode on one of the most storied shows in television history,” Acho said in a statement according to the report.

The entertainment outlet reported ABC has not commented on Harrison’s status with the franchise or network and did not confirm nor deny whether or not he would return to host the other series The Bachelorette or Bachelor In Paradise. He had served as the host for all three series since 2002.

Read More: Matt James of the ‘Bachelor’ squashes rumors he doesn’t date Black women

The topic of race has surrounded the romantic reality show this season. James is the first ever Black bachelor in the show’s history.

Harrison is facing backlash for defending the alleged racist past of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who is one of the final three women. The allegations came to the forefront after the season had been filmed. theGrio reported James issued a statement on the controversy and said the racist behavior exhibited by Kirkconnell and supported by Harrison is indicative of a larger problem.

“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,” he wrote according to the report.

Matt James Bachelor thegrio.com
(Credit: ABC)

Variety reported Harrison sat with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay to discuss the situation when things took a turn for the worst. Kirkconnell is accused of attending an Old South plantation-themed fraternity party in 2018, liking social media images of the Confederate flag, and bullying a classmate for dating a Black man.

“The picture was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party… that’s not a good look,” Lindsay said.

Harrison responded, “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”

According to the outlet before the interim host was officially decided or announced, , Lindsay described Acho as “very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, ‘I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.’” She continued, “Who better to lead it? [He’s] someone who’s not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias — I think it’d be great.”

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