As you likely know by now, Chris Harrison is stepping away from The Bachelor.
As have also likely noticed by now, Chris Harrison hasn’t actually gone anywhere.
Two days after shocking the television-watching world by announcing he was taking time away from the show he’s never not hosted, Harrison was back on the air this past week.
Why was Harrison still offering up advice to Matt James and setting up rose ceremonies for his suitors… despite having just confirmed his departure from The Bachelor?
Because Season 25 wrapped filming months ago.
In his statement, Harrison said he will NOT play a role on the After the Final Rose special, which airs and shoots in March — but the best guess is that he just goes right back into his hosting role next year on The Bachelorette.
Not much of a self-imposed punishment, is it?
Not really, but that may change, according to Us Weekly.
“There have been conversations about somehow cutting Chris Harrison out from some of the prerecorded episodes or at least some of the portions,” an insider tells this tabloid.
“If not, they may add a disclaimer at the top of the remaining episodes.”
Typically, once The Bachelor concludes, a new season of The Bachelorette starts up almost right away.
However, “there have been conversations about pushing the Bachelorette back,” this same insider claims, in order to give Harrison more time away from the franchise.
Harrison — who has hosted every season of the series since its 2002 debut — came under extreme fire for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after she posted and Liked a slew of racially insensitive Instagram photos.
Kirkconnell has also been accused, in high school, of givng white women who were dating Black men a hard time.
Rachael, who The Bachelor spoilers allege will go on to earn a proposal from James, has apologized for these instances and confessed that they were "wrong" and "racist."
Shortly before she did do, though, Harrison gave an interview to Rachel Lindsay in which he asked folks to show some "grace" and "compassion" for Kirkconnell,
He asked for judgment to be withheld.
But he didn’t show much grace or compassion himself to those affected by Kirkconnell words and actions, that’s the issue here.
Wrote Harrison as part of his own mea culpa for this response to the scandal:
“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.
"I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”
In her first public statement since facing criticism for the aforementioned photos and for her past social media behavior, Kirkconnell said this month that she "didn’t recognize how offensive and racist" her actions were at the time.
"At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them," said the contestant aspiring wife.
"My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense.
"I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."