Chris Harrison has apologized, The Bachelor franchise host spoke out on Wednesday as he advocated his overt defense of candidate Rachael Kirkconnell’s alleged racist behavior

“To my Bachelor Nation family – I’ll always have a mistake if I make one, so I’m here to offer my heartfelt apologies,” Harrison wrote in a statement posted on Instagram Wednesday night, “Me have this incredible platform to talk about love and yesterday I was speaking out on topics I should have been better informed about “

“While I am not speaking for Rachel Kirkconnell, I just wanted to beg her mercy by giving her the opportunity to speak on her own behalf,” he continued. “What I realize now is that I have done harm by speaking wrongly to maintain racism and I’m very sorry for that “

Harrison also apologized to “my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening better on a topic she understands firsthand”

“[I] humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation for reaching out to me to hold me accountable,” he concluded, “I promise to do better,”

Kirkconnell, top of the Matt James season since it premiered last month, has been the subject of controversy and allegations of racist behaviorShortly after the premiere, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell of having bullied her in the past for dating black men , and last week, another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos while a college student, photos of Kirkconnell also emerged at a party about plantations in the old south, Kirkconnell has yet to release an explanation of the allegations

In an interview with former Bachelorette and Extra correspondent Rachel Lindsay on Tuesday, Harrison spoke about these photos of Kirkconnell at an antebellum party, and the host asked if the party and Kirkconnell’s presence was just because of the racist reckoning of the past Year were considered wrong

“I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago,” Harrison said before Lindsay announced that the photos were taken just three years ago in 2018

“Isn’t 2018 good? Or is 2021 not good?” he replied “Because there is a big difference”

Lindsay reminded Harrison that the photos don’t look good no matter when they were taken and pointed out what she would represent at that party

Harrison also sparked backlash from fans – and some undergraduate alums like Mike Johnson – for his references to the “bright police”. “He and Lindsay eventually agreed during the interview that Kirkconnell should leave the allegations speaking out against her before The Bachelor or ABC make a statement. The host also promised to keep Kirkconnell’s “feet on the fire” in interviews after her time on the show

In an interview with ET last week, James, who became known as the first Black Bachelor in June after calling for diversity in the franchise, said he also hoped Kirkconnell would have the opportunity to speak up about the allegations. p>

“I haven’t spoken to anyone since the show ended, but I would say you have to be really careful what you do on social media,” said James of the various allegations. “Rumors are dark and nasty and can.” ruining people’s lives So I’d give people the benefit of the doubt and hopefully they’ll have their time to talk about it “

“There are a lot of things about the women who were on the show,” he added, “I would just give them the chance to have their piece, whether that’s someone who’s gone the first night was or someone who went home last night Everyone has a story and I would just be receptive to that “

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World News – USA – Chris Harrison apologizes for defense of alleged racist behavior