Chris Harrison Won't Be Hosting 'The Bachelorette' This Season... Or Next

·6-min read

The Bachelorette is back and more dramatic than ever, if you're to believe all those buzzy promos. It looks a lot different for Katie Thurston's season 17, and it's not just due to the pandemic bubble of filming. The perennial host Chris Harrison isn't in his usual spot assisting the lead and chatting with the contestants. In fact, he announced he's "excited to start a new chapter." Chris is officially leaving the Bachelor franchise for good, along with a reported hefty payout.

Naturally, you might be wondering why Chris isn't around and what he's up to instead.

Back in February, Chris announced that he would be “stepping aside for a period of time” after defending past racist actions by Bachelor winner Rachael Kirkconnell. Since then, Chris didn’t host the After the Final Rose special for Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, and he was replaced on Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette.

Here’s everything to know about Chris Harrison's whereabouts and the future of the Bachelor hosting gig so far.

OK, so where is Chris Harrison now?

After not sharing much on Instagram in the last few months, Chris made a big announcement about a "new chapter."

On June 8, Chris confirmed the news that his Bachelor hosting journey had come to an end. He wrote in an Instagram post: "I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime."

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Before that, he shared a message of support for Colton Underwood after the former Bachelor publicly revealed that he’s gay and another to honor his mom for Mother’s Day.

Chris has also shared two sweet posts about his girlfriend, Lauren Zima:

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BTS, Chris hired a high-profile lawyer to represent him after his temporary stepping back, according to Us Weekly.

Who is filling in for Chris Harrison?

Katie’s season of The Bachelorette is being run by co-hosts (and former Bachelorette leads) Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Kaitlyn recently appeared on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast to talk about their role. They're acting as mentors more than hosts.

"I think people want to see love, happy relationships—relatable things, which this season is full of relatable things," Kaitlyn said. "I think people will really enjoy this little… a refresh of being the support system of having two women there."

Kaitlyn said she and Tayshia kept saying things like, “'It would have been so nice to have this when we were the Bachelorette, to have women who have been in our shoes before come in and be there.’” But Kaitlyn largely referred to herself as a “mentor and support system” for Katie vs. a host.

A source told Us Weekly that Tayshia and Kaitlyn have a role of being “more experienced girlfriends to Katie and experienced contestants to the guys.” The source also stressed that Tayshia and Kaitlyn aren’t replacing Chris as hosts of the show.

Will Chris return to The Bachelor?

You heard it straight from the source, Chris is not returning to The Bachelor. Deadline had the scoop on Chris' departure before his Instagram announcement.

Chris will get a “mid-range eight-figure payoff” (read: millions) to leave the show and "promise to keep his mouth shut," the publication reported. Both ABC, which airs The Bachelor franchise and Chris are expected to exchange “the usual platitudes” but “there is certainly no romance in the air behind the scenes,” Deadline says.

Representatives for Chris have also been in “increasingly intense negotiations over the past few days” with Warner Brothers Television, which produces the Bachelor, and ABC, per Deadline.

Chris did an interview with Good Morning America in early March and admitted that he made “a mistake” in defending Rachael’s racially insensitive actions.

"I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that,” he said. Chris also said that he’s planning a comeback. "I plan to be back and I want to be back," he said. "This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done and I am excited to be part of that change."

Chris said that he’s “committed” to making “progress” for himself and the franchise and has been working with a race educator and scholars. "I am not a victim here," he said. "I made a mistake and I own that. Racism, oppression, these are big, dynamic problems and they take serious work. And I am committed to that work."

That means Chris won't be hosting Bachelor in Paradise season seven or The Bachelorette with Michelle Young, confirming what an inside source told Us Weekly.

It seems like many fans don’t miss Chris as host of the Bachelor franchise. Several pointed out on Twitter Monday night that they loved seeing Tayshia and Kaitlyn as co-hosts of The Bachelorette.

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Why is Chris leaving The Bachelorette and The Bachelor anyway?

During Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, racially-insensitive photos were released that showed frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell at an antebellum-themed ball in college and appropriating native cultures in more recent costumes.

During an Extra interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, Chris defended Rachael’s past racist actions. “Would this girl, at, I don’t know how old she would have been back then, have thought, 'You know, historically, this mansion stood for this. Guys it’s not really that woke that we’re here,'" he said. Chris also used the term "woke police,” which he said is holding people to impossible standards.

There was immediate backlash after the interview, and Chris released a statement apologizing for his comments.

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He followed that up days later to announce that he would be “stepping aside” from the franchise for an unspecified period of time.

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Rachael later publicly apologized on Instagram and again on the After the Final Rose ceremony.

“At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist,” she wrote on Instagram.

By May 2021, Rachael and Matt got back together. But Chris, won’t be getting back together with the Bachelor franchise.

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