ABC/Craig Sjodin, Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock, ABC/Craig Sjodin
On June 8, 2021, news broke that Chris Harrison would be exiting the franchise after almost 19 years of hosting. The announcement came four months after he temporarily stepped aside from the series following his defense of Rachael Kirkconnell. Rachael—who nabbed Matt James' final rose—faced controversy during her season after 2018 photos surfaced of her attending a plantation-themed party. She later apologized for her actions.
"The woke police is out there," Chris said during an interview with Rachel Lindsay. "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."