Scores for the most recent collection premiere of the ABC courting present The Bachelorette have tanked following the exit of the present’s longtime host Chris Harrison, whom the cancel mob accused of racism after he defended a contestant who attended a sorority occasion that includes antebellum-style ball robes.
The present returned to ABC with out Harrison (changed by collection alums Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe), nevertheless it garnered the bottom premiere within the collection’ historical past, in keeping with Deadline:
Though the Season 17 premiere bowed to three.59M viewers and a 0.9 score within the 18-49 demographic, per early Nielsen Reside+Similar Day numbers, it marked the bottom premiere within the collection’ historical past. The highest-rated program within the 8-10 p.m. time slot, The Bachelorette premiere fell from its earlier bow in October 2020 (4.76M, 1.3) by 24% in viewers and four-tenths in score.
The controversy struck earlier this yr after Harrison defended a contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, who years in the past participated in a sorority occasion that includes Southern Belle-style ball robes, which the left rapidly deemed as racist “as a result of they emulate the costume trend that evokes conventional, pre-Civil Struggle period plantation robes.”
“I noticed an image of her at a sorority celebration 5 years in the past, and that’s it. Like, growth,” Harrison advised Additional. “I’m like, ‘Actually?’”
“I’m not defending Rachael. I simply know that, I don’t know, 50 million individuals did that in 2018. That was a kind of celebration that lots of people went to. And once more, I’m not defending it. I didn’t go to it,” he continued, noting how many individuals had been simply “tearing this woman’s life aside and diving into her and her dad and mom’ voting report.”
“It’s unbelievably alarming to observe this,” Harrison mentioned. “I haven’t heard Rachael communicate on this but. And till I truly hear this lady have an opportunity to talk, who am I to say any of this?”
Harrison finally spoke out towards the “woke police” and referred to as on individuals to have “a little bit grace, a little bit understanding, [and] a little bit compassion.” He received a wave of backlash following the interview, prompting an apology to Bachelor Nation.
“To my Bachelor Nation household — I’ll all the time personal a mistake after I make one, so I’m right here to increase a honest apology,” Harrison mentioned in February social media submit. “I’ve this unbelievable platform to talk about love, and yesterday I took a stance on matters about which I ought to have been higher knowledgeable.”
“Whereas I don’t communicate for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions had been merely to ask for grace in providing her a possibility to talk on her personal behalf,” he defined, including that he realized he as a substitute triggered hurt by “wrongly talking in a way that perpetuates racism.”
“And for that, I’m so deeply sorry,” he mentioned.”I additionally apologize to my good friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her higher on a subject she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who’ve reached out to me to carry me accountable. I promise to do higher.”
— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) February 11, 2021
Kirkconnell additionally apologized for what she described as her “racist and offensive” actions.
Finally, Harrison introduced he would briefly step away from the present, however some contestants demanded his everlasting removing.
“I don’t actually suppose he ought to be allowed to return nevertheless it’s less than me,” former contestant DeMario Jackson mentioned. “My season was some of the seen black seasons so far as the illustration by African American males and ladies.”
“The issues which have come to mild inside The Bachelor franchise this previous week have simply been eye-opening,” Tayshia Adams, who changed Harrison as a co-host, mentioned on the time. “And I need to discuss in regards to the interview that was had between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison concerning a few of the actions from a present contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell.”
“The picture that she was in is racist. The celebration that she attended: racist. Her actions have been racist. When there are blatant types of racist acts, you can’t be defensive of it,” Adams continued. “It speaks volumes. And I simply must say, I’m actually harm by this response.”
Harrison was finally faraway from the present, receiving what was described as an “eight-figure payout from ABC.”
Notably, the present had been below fireplace for a scarcity of variety and because of this, chosen Matt James, its first black “Bachelor,” final yr. Notably, Rachel Lindsay was solid as the primary black Bachelorette in 2017.