“It was a mistake,” Harrison, 49, said in a sneak peek of his Good Morning America interview, which will air on Thursday, March 4. “I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake. And I own that.”
The controversy began with Lindsay, 35, interviewing Harrison for Extra on February 9 amid allegations of racism within the Bachelor franchise. The longtime host defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos resurfaced online of her attending an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal years earlier, calling for fans to have “grace” toward her.
Kirkconnell, 24, also apologized for her past behavior. She later asked fans to stop defending her amid the controversy. The Georgia native made the final three on Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor and is expected to speak about the scandal with Emmanuel Acho, who is stepping in as the host of the After the Final Rose special, when it airs on Monday, March 15.
“My cohost on ‘Higher Learning,’ Rachel Lindsay, disabled her Instagram earlier today,” he said. “She did it because that’s how much hate she’s getting from Bachelor fans, who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say.”
Lathan said in the clip that cyberbullies should “get a f–king life,” adding that their anger is misdirected. “Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can’t read the room in these present 2021 times,” he said. “She’s not responsible for that. It’s not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn’t understand what the f–k triggers people in today’s world.”
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While Harrison wasn’t quick to speak out in defense of Lindsay, many Bachelor Nation members were. Even Kirkconnell, whom the Texas native called out over past racially insensitive behavior, applauded her and called on social media users to back down.
“You have the opportunity to make a positive difference, to use your energy towards change, and to come together and realize what’s right in a time like this,” the season 25 Bachelor competitor wrote in a statement on Instagram on Saturday, February 27. “If you are choosing to rather spread hate, to send cruel, vicious messages, to be mad about people being hurt by racism…do better. Be better.”