, a former “The Bachelorette” star, reacted to news
that Chris Harrison
, longtime host of ABC
’s “The Bachelor” franchise, is leaving the show following backlash over comments he made during their on-air discussion about racism
Lindsay, an “Extra” correspondent, stated on the show Tuesday that she does not “expect” Harrison to leave “The Bachelor” franchise permanently.
According to People
, she said, "I wasn't expecting it to happen, especially after the announcement."
Harrison, who also served as an executive producer on seasons of “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs, addressed his departure on Instagram
on Monday, writing that he’d had an “incredible run as host” of the franchise, which he had hosted for nearly two decades.
During an interview
with Lindsay, the franchise's first Black Bachelorette, he defended Rachael Kirkconnell, a white contestant accused of racism.
Kirkconnell, who won the 25th season with Bachelor Matt James, the series' first Black lead, appeared in photos
that surfaced online of her attending a racist
"Old South" ball hosted by a chapter of the Kappa Alpha fraternity in 2018. Fans
of the franchise have also criticized her for liking photos with the Confederate flag and reportedly sharing pro-police messaging amid Bl.
In February, the "Bachelor" contestant apologized for some of her previous actions, calling them "offensive and racist."
Before Kirkconnell issued an apology
, Harrison told Lindsay that the public owed her "grace" and "understanding" after photos of her at the "Old South" party surfaced online, calling the 24-year-old a "poor girl" and criticizing the "woke police."
When Lindsay questioned Harrison about what it would have meant for her as a Black woman to attend an “Old South” party, Harrison admitted that Lindsay was “100% right in 2021,” but he charged that the party was likely not seen as offensive in 2018 three years ago.
After the interview aired, Harrison announced in February that he would be temporarily leaving the franchise.
Lindsay stated on "Extra" earlier this week that she believes the mounting criticism directed at Harrison, combined with her interview, led to his permanent departure.
“I think several previous contestants coming forward and saying they didn’t want him to be a part of ‘Paradise’; I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before she went to film her season was that Chris needed to step away; I think that, combined with the interview that happened on this very stage, maybe led to him not coming back,” Lindsay told People.
Thurston, the current season's "Bachelorette" star, tweeted a statement in February supporting Lindsay and slamming those who attacked the "Extra" host over her interview with Harrison.
She wrote, in part, "I will always be a Rachel Lindsay supporter."
I support @TheRachLindsay https://t.co/QFj9xAwKbA
— Katie Thurston (@katiethurston) February 27, 2021
Thurston told The Hollywood
Reporter in an interview published Monday that she had "own concerns" about the franchise's racism controversy and ongoing criticism about the franchise's lack of representation
of people of color in its cast and crew.
“I definitely want diversity
in my cast,” she says, “and I want it to be a platform for these men to be heard, because that’s what this is about — their stories, the love, and a little less of what everyone else has seen before.”