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Chris Harrison Reportedly Leaving 'The Bachelor' Franchise For Good Following Racism Scandal — But Eight-Figure Payout In The Works

Jun. 8 2021, Published 11:08 a.m. ET

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Embattled Bachelor host Chris Harrison is officially done with the popular reality TV dating show after he found himself at the center of a racism scandal earlier this year.

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After his 19-year run, Harrison will reportedly receive a huge payout to step back from the franchise and keep quiet following his departure.

As OK! previously reported, Harrison's fall from grace began after he defended Matt James' front-running contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, for her past racially charged photos that were brought to light while season 25 of The Bachelor was airing.

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While reps for Harrison, WBTV nor ABC have yet to comment on the details of the settlement, a confidential agreement has apparently been reached — with Harrison possibly receiving an eight-figure payoff.

cchris harrison leaving the bachelor franchise for good racism scandal ok
Source: ABC/Craig Sjodin
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The agreement was apparently made after Harrison's lawyer Bryan Freedman vowed to unleash The Bachelor franchise's alleged dirty laundry unless his client received the financial compensation he felt he deserved, according to Deadline, who first broke the news of Harrison's departure.

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News of the 49-year-old's permanent exit comes just one day after the season 17 premiere of The Bachelorette, hosted by former bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. The shocking news also comes after OK! reported that David Spade will be one of the guest hosts for the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise, which is set to air over the summer.

The reality show's split from Harrison is deemed as a win for many former contestants and fans who wanted him gone after he said Bachelor Nation should offer Kirkconnell a "little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," following her offensive resurfaced social media photos. He defended Kirkconnell's actions during an interview with Rachel Lindsay — the first Black lead in Bachelor history.

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The 24-year-old was heavily criticized for photos of her at a "Kappa Alpha Order 'Old South' formal, an antebellum plantation themed ball," as well as pictures of her dressed as a Native American, according to a Reddit user who found the photo. A viral TikTok video also claimed that Kirkconnell allegedly "liked" a photo of a Confederate flag and shared QAnon conspiracy theories.

After his defensive attitude during the interview sparked widespread criticism, leaving many appalled and infuriated, Harrison said he would temporarily step away from the franchise to "try to evolve and be a better man."

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Despite his personal apology to Lindsay and public acknowledgment of his wrongdoings during a Good Morning America sit down with Michael Strahan, Bachelor Nation remained reluctant to welcome him back with open arms.

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Meanwhile, Kirkconnell — who received James' final rose on the finale — has been welcomed back into the bachelor's arms after their public breakup following the controversy. While the reality star couple confirmed their split on the After the Final Rose special, OK! reported that James and Kirkconnell were officially back together in May.

Following the past tumultuous few months, the rekindled flames have since been spotted getting manicures and pedicures in the Big Apple, cozying up together on a beach in Miami and enjoying Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons with pals Tyler Cameron and Camila Kendra.

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