Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines for February 11
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“Bachelor” host Chris Harrison is taking a step back and reflecting on a recent interview that had Bachelor Nation in an uproar.
On Tuesday, the longtime emcee appeared on Extra in an interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay who was the show’s first Black female lead. In the interview, he defended current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos resurfaced of her attending an “Old South” themed party at a plantation in 2018.
In a statement on Wednesday, Harrison, 49, apologized for his words.
“I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf,” he wrote.
“What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry. I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable,” Harrison concluded. “I promise to do better.”
Chris Harrison apologized for ‘speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.’
Kirkconnell’s photo controversy doesn’t end with the plantation photos either. A user on Reddit uploaded an image of Kirkconnell dressed up in a Native American costume and she’s been accused on TikTok of bullying a former high school classmate “for liking Black guys.”
Kirkconnell has not commented publicly on any of the photos. She’s currently competing for the first Black “Bachelor” lead Matt James’ final rose and is a frontrunner in the season.
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James on a date during ‘The Bachelor.’
On Extra, Harrison and Lindsay debated the gravity of the photos. “This is, again, where we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” he said. “I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. And until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
Lindsay pointed out the photo “was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party … that’s not a good look.”
Harrison debated, “Well, Rachel is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”
“It’s not a good look ever,” Lindsay stated, “because she’s celebrating the Old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”
“You’re 100% right in 2021. That was not the case in 2018,” Harrison said, “I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018…. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it; I didn’t go to it. We are not looking under the same lens.”
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Lindsay reasoned “that’s the problem… we weren’t looking through those lens and we should have been. And just because it was a popular party, you know, doesn’t necessarily make it right.”
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