Rachel Lindsay is thoughtfully reacting in response to Chris Harrison‘s temporary departure from The Bachelor.
The Extra TV correspondent and former leading lady on The Bachelorette gave her thoughts about Harrison’s public apology and departure announcement on Monday in an interview with fellow on-air personality Billy Bush. (It’s ironic that Bush has jumped into the fray here considering his own past controversial history involving sensitive social issues, but we digress…)
The 35-year-old former reality star admitted to Bush on Monday that she was “stunned” after her initial interview with Harrison, in which the longtime Bachelor host argued for compassion for current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after old social media posts and controversial fraternity formal photos of her surfaced online.
As for the 49-year-old’s decision to step away from the ABC franchise for the time being, though, it sounds like the lawyer-turned-celeb correspondent is entirely on board.
Speaking to Bush, Lindsay offered this reaction to Harrison’s weekend news (below):
“Like he said, he needs to take time to get educated and on a profound and productive level to use his word. And I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong, and what he said in that interview, and he needs time. He’s stepped away to do that. But ‘m going to need that time and space and compassion that he referenced to really accept the apology, because [Chris wasn’t] apologetic at first. I’m not saying I can’t get there, it’s just, initially, it’s a little tough for me.”
Totally understood! Rachel had some very strong reactions to Chris’ first controversial interview and non-apology, so it’s no wonder she’s taking time with her feelings on this one. She continued on from there, admitting she wished she’d pressed Harrison harder during their initial interview when he tried to give cover to Kirkconnell by excusing away her “2018” actions.
“In that moment, I wish I would have said, particularly when he talked about the difference between 2018 and 2021, when he said, ‘was it not a good look there, or was it not… a good look in 2021?’ I wish I would have said, ‘What do you mean by that? What was the difference in 2018?’ He kept talking about this lens, that we were looking at things through 2018 versus 2021 — I wish I had asked him to explain that.”
But nevertheless, the former Bachelorette still did a great job asking Harrison the tough questions and holding his feet to the fire on such an important issue anyways. Clearly, it’s already having consequences within the franchise. Hopefully sustained, welcome change and a commitment to diversity and anti-racism will come from this!
Her Hubby Hits Harrison, Too!
Bryan Abasolo is supporting his wife publicly throughout this whole controversy, as well! On the latest episode of his Talking It Out podcast, the 41-year-old former reality TV star praised his better half and SLAMMED Harrison over the Kirkconnell controversy.
At one point during the podcast, Abasolo told co-host and former Bachelorette contestant Mike Johnson (below):
“Chris Harrison is someone that I respected highly and I’m not gonna lie, I definitely lost respect for him after watching that interview. I thought what he said was irresponsible, it was hurtful and it was just flat-out unacceptable. Now, we’re not talking about past contestants of the show, who pretty much come and go, right? We’re talking about the face of this franchise, 20 plus years of this man being on our television screens on a show that’s been needing a diversity makeover for years, I don’t think anybody’s going to deny that.”
That’s a very good point! When Johnson agreed, calling Harrison’s initial take an “opportunistic reaction,” Abasolo got on a roll. Lindsay’s better half added:
“And then Chris comes out and says this, and to me it makes me wonder like, ‘Damn, is this how everyone on the top feels?’ I hope that isn’t the case, but this is the figurehead. Is this the sentiment that we are trying to overcome, still in 2021? … Quite frankly, the apology, I thought it was weak, not gonna lie. [Chris] said everything [he] said in public, I believe that it should be standard that you should apologize by showing your face and speaking in public the same as your words were aired in public when you said them. We need to see the growth. You have too big of a platform and you’re too big of an influencer for you not to lead by example in this situation. I just pray that we see that evolution from him play out for everyone to see.”
BTW, you can watch Rachel’s full sit-down convo about this entire situation with Billy Bush right here:
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? What do U think about everything Rachel and Bryan are trying to get across here? Sound off about everything with your take down in the comments (below)…
[Image via Rachel Lindsay/Chris Harrison/Instagram]