The Bachelor host Chris Harrison has apologised after receiving backlash for defending Rachael Kirkconnell in a recent interview.

Chris Harrison has hosted the popular American ABC reality shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since 2002, and is well-loved by fans of the show.

However, he recently came under fire after defending contestant Rachel Kirkconnell following a recent scandal, and he’s now made a public apology.

Here’s all the drama explained…

THE BACHELORETTE – “1603” – Clare attempts to keep her journey to find everlasting love from careening off the rails this week. Yosef is particularly determined to confront the unsuspecting Bachelorette on a number of issues – only to have Clare heroically stand up to him. Former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas pays a surprise visit to get the lowdown on Clare’s guys. Things go awry when Clare decides to have an extended after-party with eight of the bachelors. Tensions mount when the men realize what is really going on. Zach J. is excited about his individual spa date with Clare, but his inability to relax might end in disaster. Comedy favorite Margaret Cho makes a special guest appearance to help some of the men prepare for a roast before a live audience, however, these suitors have something more devious in mind on “The Bachelorette,” TUESDAY, OCT. 27 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Craig Sjodin via Getty Images) CHRIS HARRISON

Rachel Kirkconnell attended an antebellum party

The drama all started when a video surfaced of The Bachelor contestant Rachel Kirkconnell and her university friends attending an antebellum party.

It was themed around plantations and the ‘Old South’ and landed her in hot water as people claimed that the antebellum era is deeply associated with racism.

Rachel has not yet spoken out about the viral photo, but The Bachelor host Chris Harrison has received criticism after defending her.

Chris Harrison defends Rachel Kirkconnell

In a recent interview with The Bachelor star Rachel Lindsay, Chris Harrison said that the social media reaction to Rachael’s antebellum photo was “unbelievably alarming”.

He then said:

“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I have seen some stuff online, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents, her parents’ voting record. … I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this? I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago and that’s it.”

Many fans took this as Chris defending Rachel’s association with a racist era of history, and his comments gained a lot of backlash on social media.

Chris has now made a public apology

Following the backlash, Chris Harrison took to his Instagram on Wednesday to apologise for his comments.

He said:

“To my Bachelor Nation family. I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday, I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf.”

Chris then continued to say that he now realties he has caused harm by “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism” and expressed a deep apology.

“I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has first hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable,” he continued.

The Bachelor host finished his apology by writing: “I promise to do better.”

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