Rachel Lindsay didn’t expect Chris Harrison to exit ‘Bachelor’ franchise after race fallout

"Well, it's been 19 years, and if you do watch the show, we saw less and less of Chris," said Lindsay.

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After it was announced that Chris Harrison was set to leave The Bachelor franchise for good, Rachel Lindsay, the show’s first Black Bachelorette, is weighing in on the decision.

On a Tuesday episode of Extra, Lindsay said she didn’t expect Harrison to leave, and although she doesn’t know what exactly led to his official departure, she can speculate.

“The Bachelorette” former star Rachel Lindsay attends Tyler Perry Studios’ October 2019 grand opening gala in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)

“I think several past contestants coming forward and saying they didn’t want him to be part of Paradise. I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before she went to film her season was that Chris needed to step away. I think that, coupled with the interview that happened on this very stage, maybe led to him not coming back,” said Lindsay, according to People magazine.

Harrison said in an Instagram post that he had a “truly incredible run” helming The Bachelor and is ready for a new chapter. After hosting the franchise-show for almost two decades, he stepped to the side after he was accused of racism stemming from his defense of The Bachelor winner Rachel Kirkconnell. Harrison eventually apologized, promising to do better. 

Kirkconnell won the 25th season of the show, in which Matt James was the first Black bachelor seeking love. The couple called off their relationship after pictures of Kirkconnell attending an “Old South” antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018 were leaked. There were also reports that the now 24-year-old had also liked social media posts featuring a Confederate flag.

According to multiple reports, the couple has since rekindled their relationship. 

“Well, it’s been 19 years, and if you do watch the show, we saw less and less of Chris. Nineteen years is a big accomplishment,” Lindsay told Bush of Harrison’s hosting stint. “Maybe that’s the case. We don’t know. Maybe they were ready to move on.”

This is not the first time Lindsay has spoken up about Harrison. Last week, she opened up about another frustrating moment, one in which he labeled her as “angry.”

During her Friday appearance on The View, the former Bachelorette spoke on the situation after recalling when The Real Housewives of New York’s Eboni K. Williams, its first Black cast member, was labeled “an angry Black woman” by Luann de Lesseps during an argument.

Lindsay said when she stood up for herself against a runner-up’s condescending comments against her, Harrison called her “angry.”

“In my season finale of The Bachelorette, when I was sitting on stage with my runner-up, my runner-up told me that I was going to live a mediocre life if I didn’t choose him, and my response to him was, ‘Actually, I’m living my best life,’” Lindsay said of her tense conversation with Peter Kraus, according to E!

“When I came back from commercial break, the host [Chris Harrison] said to me, ‘Rachel, you seem angry.’ I looked, and I said, ‘That’s a strong word.’ And he said, ‘Well, you seem upset.’ I hadn’t raised my voice, I hadn’t yelled, I hadn’t said any type of curse word.”

When she asked the contestant why he felt attacked regarding her retort to his comments, he couldn’t offer an answer.

“From that moment on, four years ago, I’ve been labeled an ‘angry Black female’ in Bachelor Nation,” said Lindsay. “It still carries and follows me around to this day.”

theGrio’s Ashley Terrell contributed to this report.

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