After 19 years, Chris Harrison has exited The Bachelor franchise following the controversy around racially insensitive comments the host made earlier this year.
According to Deadline, Harrison, who has hosted The Bachelor and its various spinoffs since 2002, will receive an eight-figure payoff to leave the show with an agreement not to discuss the situation publicly. Official confirmation from ABC is expected to be released later today.
The news comes after it was revealed last week that David Spade and other celebrity guests would be filling in for Harrison on the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise. Earlier in the year, it was announced that Bachelorette favorites Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe would replace the long-serving host for the 17th season of The Bachelorette, which premiered on Monday night.
Harrison’s relationship with the franchise has been up in the air since earlier this year when he received backlash for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos came to light showing her attending an antebellum plantation-themed party in her college days. The host later apologized and announced that he would be stepping aside from the Bachelor franchise for an undetermined amount of time.
'The Bachelorette' 2021 Premiere: Katie Gives Her First Impression Rose to Someone Unexpected (RECAP)
Deadline states that Harrison’s reps have been involved in intense negotiations with Warner Bros. Television Studios and ABC over the past few days, with a settlement finally been reached on Monday night. The publication also claims that Harrison’s lawyer threatened to expose The Bachelor‘s alleged dirty laundry unless his client was provided an agreeable financial payout.
There has been no official word as of yet from ABC or Warner Bros. Television Studios regarding Harrison’s exit or the future of the Bachelor franchise.