Chris Harrison says he is "committed to progress" after temporarily exiting his longtime role of Bachelor Nation host following a racism controversy. But Good Morning America's Michael Strahan seems skeptical.
In a Feb. 9 interview, Harrison argued with former The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay about current The Bachelor hopeful Rachael Kirkconnell's past controversial social media posts, for which she apologized. He later apologized himself for "excusing historical racism" in that interview and then announced he is temporarily "stepping back" from his longtime role of host of The Bachelor franchise. On Thursday, March 4, Harrison spoke to Strahan on GMA about the controversy, which had prompted bullying against Lindsay, apologizing again.
"His apology is his apology, but it felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this," Strahan later told his co-hosts on the air, after the interview concluded. "And obviously, he's the man who wants to clearly stay on the show only time will tell if there is any meaning behind his words."
In his interview with Strahan, Harrison said, "I'm an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that. I believe that mistake doesn't reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. Antebellum parties are not OK—past, present, future. Knowing what that represents is unacceptable."
"I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay and I didn't speak from my heart and that is to say I stand against all forms of racism and I am deeply sorry," the Bachelor Nation host continued. "I'm sorry to Rachel Lindsay and I'm sorry to the Black community."
Harrison also said, "I am not a victim here. 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."
The Bachelor Nation host said he has been working closely with a "race educator and strategist," and faith leaders and scholars like Michael Eric Dyson, who he says "often talks to me about council. Not cancel, and that is full accountability, understanding what you didn't understand, owning that, learning from that, seeking counsel often in the community that you hurt, learning from them, listening, gaining experience, knowledge and moving forward."
ABC has not announced a return date for Harrison, who has already been replaced by former NFL player Emmanuel Acho, author of the book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, as the host of the upcoming The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special that is set to air on March 15.
"I plan to be back and I want to be back," Harrison told Strahan. "This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done and I am excited to be a part of that change."