Chris Harrison‘s time with The Bachelor has finally come to an end. Following a racism scandal that’s plagued the reality series since earlier in the year, Harrison has reportedly walked away with an eight-figure payoff that was tensely negotiated as The Bachelor made its 17th season premiere on Monday night. While the writing was on the wall for Harrison’s departure after guest hosts, including David Spade, were announced for the latest season, the longtime host reportedly made it very difficult for Warner Bros. and producers to get rid of him thanks to his intimate knowledge of the show’s dirty secrets. Via Deadline:
The confidential settlement with franchise producers and distributor Warner Horizon was finally reached after one more flurry of back and forth between the parties and Bachelor broadcaster ABC on Monday night. A motivational undercurrent, so to speak, throughout was Harrison lawyer Bryan Freedman pledging to unleash the Shiva of lawsuits exposing a swath of The Bachelor’s alleged dirty laundry unless his Gersh-repped client emerged feeling the financial love.
The controversy for Harrison began back in February when he defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after it was revealed that she attended an antebellum-themed sorority party in 2018 and had posted images on social media that consisted of cultural appropriation. During an interview on Extra, Harrison tried to downplay Kirkconnell’s actions by arguing with Rachel Lindsay (Extra‘s first Black lead) that the incident happened over five years ago when it was barely three years old.
After the incident on Extra, Harrison issued an apology on Twitter, which did not go over well. A few days later, Harrison issued a second apology and announced he’d be taking time off from The Bachelor. That time off has now resulted in his permanent exit from the show.