Chris Harrison has found himself in a very dramatic situation.
Last week, The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell—who is competing for the affection of the first-ever Black Bachelor Matt James—came under fire after a Reddit user shared photos of the Georgia native attending a fraternity formal. The 2018 event was described by the poster as an "antebellum plantation themed ball." Rachael has also faced criticism for alleged past social media behavior.
On Feb. 9, Chris appeared on Extra with Rachel Lindsay, the franchise's first Black Bachelorette, and was asked about the situation. His answer immediately raised eyebrows.
"I haven't talked to Rachael about it," he shared. "And this is, again, where we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I've seen some stuff online—again this judge-jury-executioner thing—where people are just tearing this girl's life apart and diving into, like, her parents and her parents' voting record. It's unbelievably alarming to watch this. I haven't heard Rachael speak on this yet. And until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?"
Rachel was quick to say the photos are "not a good look ever." And on Feb. 10, Chris apologized for his remarks and acknowledged that what he said "perpetuates racism."
"To my Bachelor Nation family—I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology," he wrote on Instagram. "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."
Since the controversy first began, many former contestants have spoken out on social media. Keep scrolling to see what Bachelor Nation thinks of Chris' handling of the situation and what comes next for ABC's long running franchise.