In the world of reality television, Chris Harrison had been a household name for nearly two decades as the beloved host of ‘The Bachelor.’ However, in February 2021, a storm of controversy led to his unexpected departure from the show, leaving fans wondering, “What happened to Chris Harrison?” This article will delve into the details of his exit, the reasons behind it, his current whereabouts, and what he’s been up to lately.
The Rachael Kirkconnell Incident
Chris Harrison’s journey away from ‘The Bachelor’ began in Season 25, when contestant Rachael Kirkconnell faced accusations of attending a racially insensitive party and bullying. The controversy surrounding her actions ignited a firestorm of public outrage and calls for accountability.
In the eye of the storm, Chris Harrison’s response became the epicenter of the controversy. Many criticized him for downplaying the seriousness of the situation during an interview. His comments defending Rachael Kirkconnell and her past actions were met with widespread backlash.
The culmination of events led to Chris Harrison’s decision to depart from ‘The Bachelor.’ On February 13, 2022, he officially announced his departure from the show, marking the end of his nearly two-decade-long tenure.
Who is Chris Harrison?
Before we delve deeper into his departure, let’s get to know Chris Harrison a bit better. Christopher Bryan Harrison is an American TV and game show host renowned for his role as the host of ‘The Bachelor’ and its spin-offs, such as ‘The Bachelorette,’ ‘Bachelor Pad,’ and ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’ He became a familiar face on American television, thanks to his charismatic hosting style.
Chris Harrison’s Career
Chris Harrison’s career in television began in the early ’90s when he worked as a sports reporter at a CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City. He also had brief stints hosting shows like “Mall Masters” and “Designers’ Challenge” on HGTV.
Harrison’s hosting roles expanded to include the syndicated version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” from 2015 to 2019, along with other projects like “Bachelor Live” and “The Bachelor Winter Games.” In 2015, he even ventured into writing, publishing his first romance novel, “The Perfect Letter.”
The Bachelor Franchise
However, his most significant claim to fame came from his association with ‘The Bachelor’ franchise. He was the face of the show for almost two decades, making him synonymous with the dating reality series.
Why was Chris Harrison Fired?
It’s essential to clarify that Chris Harrison was not fired from ‘The Bachelor.’ Instead, he made a personal choice to step away from his hosting duties in February 2022.
The Interview Fallout
The decision followed a controversial interview where Harrison defended Rachael Kirkconnell for her past racist behavior, particularly her attendance at an antebellum-themed party in 2018. His comments during the interview sparked outrage for seemingly minimizing the issue.
An Apology and Departure
In the wake of the controversy, Chris Harrison issued an apology in March 2021, acknowledging his mistake and the hurt it had caused. However, the fallout persisted, ultimately leading to his departure from the show.
Where is Chris Harrison Now?
After leaving ‘The Bachelor,’ Chris Harrison returned to his home state of Texas, specifically settling in Austin. He credited this decision to his fiancée and expressed his excitement about returning to his roots.
Chris has been actively involved in his children’s lives. In May, he celebrated his daughter’s acceptance to Texas Christian University, a significant milestone in her life.
Podcasting and Beyond
In early 2023, Chris Harrison launched a podcast titled “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever … With Chris Harrison.” In this podcast, he shares behind-the-scenes insights into his departure from ‘The Bachelor’ and reflects on the events that led to it.
An Ordained Minister
In addition to podcasting, Chris has become an ordained minister, offering wedding officiation services since 2012. It’s a surprising turn in his career path that many might not have anticipated.
Keeping Tabs on ‘The Bachelor’
Despite his exit, Chris Harrison continues to keep track of ‘The Bachelor’s’ ratings. However, he has admitted that he no longer watches the episodes, marking a significant departure from his previous involvement.
In conclusion, Chris Harrison’s departure from ‘The Bachelor’ was a result of the controversial interview defending Rachael Kirkconnell, which triggered a wave of criticism and ultimately led to his self-imposed exit. Since then, he has returned to his home state of Texas, launched a podcast, become an ordained minister, and remained actively involved in his children’s lives. While his time on ‘The Bachelor’ has come to an end, Chris Harrison’s journey continues in various intriguing directions.
1. Why did Chris Harrison leave ‘The Bachelor’?
Chris Harrison left ‘The Bachelor’ in February 2021 amidst controversy surrounding his defense of a contestant involved in a racism-related incident.
2. What was the controversy that led to Chris Harrison’s departure?
The controversy arose when a contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, faced accusations of attending an antebellum-themed party. Chris Harrison’s comments defending Kirkconnell’s actions drew criticism for downplaying the issue.
3. What has Chris Harrison been doing since leaving ‘The Bachelor’?
Chris Harrison launched a podcast in 2023, titled “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever … With Chris Harrison,” where he discusses behind-the-scenes events. He has also moved back to Texas, become an ordained minister, and officiates weddings.
4. Where is Chris Harrison now?
Chris Harrison currently resides in Austin, Texas, and is actively involved in his children’s lives. He launched a podcast, became an ordained minister, and keeps track of ‘The Bachelor’ ratings, though he doesn’t watch the episodes.
5. What other shows did Chris Harrison host besides ‘The Bachelor’?
Chris Harrison hosted various shows, including ‘The Bachelorette,’ ‘Bachelor Pad,’ ‘Bachelor in Paradise,’ ‘Mall Masters,’ and the syndicated version of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.’