The Bachelor Faces Continued Backlash for Featuring Chris Harrison’s Voiceover in Finale

Chris Harrison is under fire once again. The disgraced host did voiceover work for The Bachelor finale on Monday, March 15, despite announcing he was stepping down from the franchise.

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 16, 2021 2:17 AMTags
Watch: Chris Harrison Replaced on "Bachelorette" By Tayshia Adams & Kaitlyn Bristowe

Chris Harrison is... still here?

Last month, Harrison stepped down from his Bachelor hosting duties—or so we thought.

Despite his previously announced departure from Matt James' season, it now appears that ABC continued to work with Harrison following his controversial statements about finalist Rachael Kirkconnell in February. 

Fans were shocked to hear the longtime host's voice on The Bachelor's season 25 finale on Monday, March 15.

In between commercial breaks on Monday's episode, the dating show featured voiceovers from Harrison to tease what was coming up. He even introduced his own After the Final Rose host replacement, Emmanuel Acho, seemingly confirming that the clips were taped after he decided he was "stepping aside."

At the beginning of the episode, Harrison was heard saying, "Unpack Matt's traumatic journey to find love and dive into all the controversy. Plus, a shocking reveal that changes everything. It's all happening tonight on the stunning season finale of The Bachelor."

Bachelor Nation Reacts to Chris Harrison Controversy

Ahead of another commercial break, the 49 year old announced, "Later tonight, Emmanuel Acho dives into the shocking conclusion to Matt's journey."

It seemed to contradict the disgraced TV personality's previous statement in which he stepped down from his role. On Feb. 13, Harrison said on Instagram, "The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions," referring to the show's first male Black lead in Matt James.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM; MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Harrison went on, "To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special."

He apologized again for defending Kirkconnell after photos were unearthed of the contestant attending an Old South party in 2018. Harrison suggested it was only offensive by 2021's standards, not 2018's standards.

"By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong," Harrison wrote on Instagram.

During the finale, social media users quickly called out ABC for its "performative bs" solution by backtracking on Harrison's exit. One Twitter user wrote, "I guess Chris Harrison stepping away from #TheBachelor franchise involves him still doing voiceover work?"

ABC/Stewart Cook; ABC/Craig Sjodin

Another asked, "I'm sorry but is it not weird that they had Chris Harrison do the voiceover intro of the person they hired to replace him??" One fan said the situation "really boils my blood." 

The group of fans behind the Bachelor Diversity Campaign posted, "Chris Harrison is not the man for this moment. This show needs mental health support for its cast without a vested interest in drama."

Acho stepped up to host the After the Final Rose special and Bachelor Nation alums Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams are officially replacing Harrison as the host of the next season of The Bachelorette.

On March 12, ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon told E! News in a statement, "Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette. We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season."


Harrison made his initial controversial comments about Kirkconnell's infamous party in an interview with Rachel Lindsay on Extra, saying, "These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time. They were 18 years old... Now, does that make it OK? I don't know Rachel, you tell me. But where is this lens we're holding up and was that lens available, and were we all looking through it in 2018? I don't know."

He later apologized and said, "My intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf." 

E! News has reached out to ABC for comment on Harrison's involvement in Monday's finale.