Chris Harrison is speaking out, a little over two weeks following his temporary departure from The Bachelor. In a sneak preview from his Good Morning America segment, the battered TV host says “it was a mistake” to condemn Rachael Kirkconnell‘s alleged racist acts.

Harrison tells Michael Strahan,

I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that.

Harrison and The Bachelor franchise were entangled in controversy in the midst of Matt James‘s landmark season. Shortly after the premiere on 4 January, Kirkconnell, the perceived winner was accused of racism in the past, for which she apologized twice. Among the accusations were pictures of a 24-year-old visual artist from 2018 on the “Old South” plantation-themed university formal.

Speaking on Extra with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black star of the program, Harrison begged viewers to lend Kirkconnell some “grace” while spurring historic discrimination.

“Is it a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021?” Harrison said of the pictures.

Lindsay explained it’s never a good look when she’s enjoying the Old South. “If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”

Harrison replied he doesn’t disagree with her and she is 100% right. However, he believes this was not the case back in 2018. “Again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018… that was a type of party that a lot of people went to.”

Harrison, 49, apologised to the entire Bachelor Nation after the interview went viral on social media.

“While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf,” he wrote. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.”

Shortly after his gaffe, Harrison revealed that he would be leaving the franchise for a certain period of time and not present the conventional After the Final Rose special. Meanwhile, Harrison’s long term future remains up in the air.

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