The Bachelorette's Hannah Brown Calls for Change Amid Chris Harrison Controversy

Former Bachelorette lead Hannah Brown said it's time for Bachelor Nation to "confront where we have fallen short" in the wake of Chris Harrison's comments about Rachael Kirkconnell.

By Kaitlin Reilly Feb 13, 2021 10:24 PMTags
Watch: Hannah Brown Reflects on "Bachelorette" 1 Year Later

Former Bachelorette star Hannah Brown is speaking out in the wake of backlash against Chris Harrison's recent comments. 

Earlier this week, fans on Reddit uncovered photos of current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell attending an antebellum-themed fraternity formal, a racist party tradition that glamorizes plantation culture and slavery. Kirkconnell is currently vying for the love of Matt James, the first Black Bachelor.

Harrison, the longtime host of the dating franchise, appeared on Extra with Rachel Lindsay, the show's first Black Bachelorette, to defend Kirkconnell from the criticism she received due to her past behavior. 

After claiming that Kirkconnell was too young to grasp the problematic nature of the event, and falsely claiming that Old South parties were deemed more acceptable in 2018, Harrison said on Feb. 9, "The woke police is out there. And this poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions, I don't know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this."

Bachelor Nation Reacts to Chris Harrison Controversy

Following swift backlash from Bachelor Nation and fans, Chris issued an apology for his comments, which he acknowledged "perpetuates racism." On Feb. 13, he announced he was stepping down from the Bachelor franchise and would not appear as the host for the After the Final Rose special. 

A source tells E! News he "will appear in the remaining episodes of this season, which filmed at the end of 2020."

"He will also appear at Women Tell All episode on March 1, which was pre-taped earlier this month in Los Angeles." the insider adds, "The After the Final Rose special has not yet filmed, and additional details will be shared at a later date."

Shutterstock; Getty Images

Now, Brown, who came under fire in May of last year for using the N-word while singing a song in a video, is adding her voice to the controversy. 

On Feb. 12, prior to Harrison stepping down, Brown took to her Instagram Story to acknowledge the situation brewing in Bachelor Nation.

"Hey yall, I've been catching up and reading about everything that's been going on in Bachelor Nation and Lord knows I've made mistakes," Brown said. "But I have learned this past year if we want to move forward, we have to confront where we have fallen short. And it's so important that we lift up and listen and value and encourage under represented voices."

She continued, "We just have to be better and while being accountable has helped me evolve so much, and I'm still not a perfect person but I do remain committed to the work. And I'm so humbled and truly grateful to be on this journey and could only hope that I encourage others to go on the journey as well."

Last year during her own controversy, Brown admitted she had uncomfortable conversations that led her to becoming more racially aware.

On her Instagram Story in June of last year, she wrote, "I wholeheartedly take accountability for the disappointment and pain I caused by saying this word and while I know I can't take it back, I can listen, learn, and take action to continue the dialogue and be apart [sic] of this historical and necessary change. It is SO important to me to tell y'all that there is no defending what I said."

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