Michael Strahan was the man Chris Harrison delivered his apology to — and he isn’t buying it.
Michael Strahan interviewed Chris Harrison March 4 on Good Morning America about the current Bachelor racism controversy. Here’s a full explainer if you’re unfamiliar, but a quick summary: Harrison came under fire for defending Rachael Kirkconnell during an Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay. Kirkconnell is a contestant on Matt James’s season, and photos of her attending an antebellum party in college resurfaced on the internet.
“These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time; they were 18 years old. Now, does that make it okay? I don’t know, Rachel, you tell me,” Harrison said to Lindsay during their interview, talking over her at times. “Were we all looking through [that lens] in 2018?”
Harrison apologized for his words and admitted he was condoning racist actions; he also apologized to Lindsay for not letting her talk during their interview. He’s since temporarily stepped down as host of The Bachelor and, according to GMA, is currently working with a “race educator and strategist.”
“I am an imperfect man,” Harrison told Strahan during their chat. “I made a mistake, and I own that. I believe the mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, [but] also for the franchise.”
He later added, “Antebellum parties are not okay: past, present, future. Knowing what that represents is unacceptable.”
EXCLUSIVE: “It was a mistake.” #TheBachelor host Chris Harrison apologizes for defending frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist social media posts, telling @michaelstrahan he is an “imperfect man” who is “committed to progress.” https://t.co/OfPBBzGd9s pic.twitter.com/0EgbKV99DV
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 4, 2021
On his interview with Lindsay, Harrison said, “I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I didn’t speak from my heart, and that is to say I stand against all forms of racism. I am deeply sorry. I’m sorry to Rachel Lindsay, and I’m sorry to the Black community.”
Lindsay recently deleted her Instagram account because so many Bachelor fans were harassing her. To this, Harrison said, “To anyone who is throwing hate toward Rachel Lindsay, please stop. It is unacceptable.”
Harrison ended the interview by reminding people he is not the victim. “I made a mistake, and I own that,” he said. “Racism, oppression—these are big, dynamic problems, and they take serious work. I am committed to that work.”
On his future as Bachelor host, Harrison said he plans to come back but knows he has more work to do. “This interview is not the finish line,” he explained. “There is much more work to be done.”
Michael Strahan agreed with Chris Harrison about that but didn’t seem too impressed with the interview overall. “His apology is his apology,” Strahan said. “But it felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this. Obviously, he’s a man who wants to clearly stay on the show. But only time will tell if there’s any meaning behind his words.”
FS1 sports broadcaster Emmanuel Acho has replaced Harrison for the finale episode; it remains to be seen when or if Harrison will return. Watch the interview in full here.