By now, if you’re reading this post, you must know, right?
The state of Bachelor Nation is in disarray.
After finally caving to public pressure and bringing in a Black man to lead The Bachelor Season 25, the series has been exposed over the past few weeks for all the ways in which it mishandles the topic of race.
Producers apparently failed to propery vet contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who allegedly ends up earning this year’s final rose — and whose social media account is littered with inappropriate images and comments.
She attended a plantation-themed party in 2018.
She Liked photos of the Confederate Flag..
She’s been accused of mocking white students in high school who dated Black students.
Kirkconnell herself has referred to these actions as "racist and wrong," while apologizing for her past behavior and vowing to do better.
Chris Harrison, meanwhile, has also been forced to offer up a mea culpa after giving an interview to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
Harrison had a chance, in said interview, to chart a new course for the franchise by showing empathy and compassion. He didn’t.
During this interview, Harrison did ask for "compassion and grace" – when it came to judging Kirkconnell, which raised eyebrows, to say the least.
After all, he didn’t offer much in the way of either of those things for the victims of Kirkconnell’s words and/or decisions over the years.
The backlash was swift.
Harrison even said he’ll be stepping away from the franchise for a bit in the statement he just under two weeks ago.
What does this really mean, however?
That remains to be seen.
All episodes of Season 25 have already been filmed, and Matt and Rachael broke up. Everything is chaos right now.
Harrison has said he won’t emcee the After the Final Rose special, but most viewers assume he’ll simply return this fall as host of The Bachelorette and that will be it.
But what if it’s not?
An insider has told People Magazine that executives are taking this whole scandal very seriously.
They’ve read many of the comments online and are well aware of the backlash out there.
"A lot of work is being done behind the scenes to make the appropriate changes and proper moves going forward with the franchise," claims this source.
Meaning what, exactly?
The report did not specify, but it at least implied that Harrison’s long-term role as host is not assured.
"There are talks happening regarding Chris Harrison and his future with the show," added the source.
Interesting and intriguing, right?
Earlier this week, Matt James publicly addressed the controversy for the first time, calling this time the "most challenging" of his life and condemning Kirkconnell’s actions as "disappointing."
Lindsay, meanwhile, has been the leading Bachelor alum voice throughout this saga.
She has said Harrison made the right move in stepping away and she has praised James for his recent statement, which we just cited above..
She also has an idea of who should takeover for Harrison, at least on the After the Final Rose taping.
Lindsay thinks former NFL linebacker and Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man host Emmanuel Acho would be "fantastic" for the position.
“Emmanuel would be great,” Lindsay explained on the Bachelor Party podcast.
“He’s not biased in any way, he doesn’t watch the show, he doesn’t know the people involved. He should be there to be able to facilitate a conversation that we need to see happen.”
"[He’s] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, ‘I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.’
"Who better to lead it?"
That’s the question, isn’t it?
We know Harrison will be absent from one upcoming episode and it sounds like he may be absent from many more going forward.
Who would YOU want to see take over as either temporary or permanent host of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette?