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Chris Harrison Breaks His Silence Following ‘Bachelor’ Exit: ‘I’m Excited to Start a New Chapter’

Breaking his silence. Chris Harrison spoke out on Tuesday, June 8, shortly following the news that he will not return to the Bachelor franchise.

Related: Biggest Bachelor Nation Scandals of All Time

“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he shared via Instagram. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”

The host, 49, first came under fire in February during an interview on Extra with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. During the interview, he was asked about then-contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who had shared racially insensitive posts via Instagram.

He seemingly condemned the “judge, jury, executioner” attitude of those attacking her online.

Chris Harrison Speaks Out Following Bachelor Exit
Chris Harrison on ‘The Bachelorette’. ABC/Craig Sjodin

“This poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions, I don’t know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this. And my guess is, this woman needs a little time,” he said at the time. “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion.”

Related: How Chris Harrison's Interview With Rachel Lindsay to His Exit: A Timeline

When the “Higher Learning” host, 36, noted that the graphic designer had six weeks to speak out and explain her posts, the longtime host continued.

“Who is Rachel Lindsay and who is Chris Harrison and who is whatever woke police person out there, who are you [to tell her to speak out]?” he asked Lindsay. “I’ve heard this a lot of, ‘I think she should,’ ‘I think he should.’ Who the hell are you? Who are you that you demand that?

Both Kirkconnell, 25, and the Perfect Letter author have since apologized for their actions.

During a March interview with Good Morning America, the former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? said he hopes to return after educating himself.

“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” he shared at the time. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”

Related: Dream Casting! Which Celebs Should Join David Spade as 'BiP' Guest Hosts

The current season of The Bachelorette is hosted by Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams. Bachelor in Paradise will include rotating celebrity guest hosts, including David Spade.

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