Celebrity apologies are all the rage.
As I’ve noted, they increasingly appear as products of the same form letter.
Each mea culpa seems more robust than the last, but the buzz words relentlessly repeat: “ignorance,” “educate” “committed,” “harm,” etc.
Yet even in these cancel-ridden times, no one’s said “I’m sorry” like Chris Harrison.
For years, Chris was king: He hosted The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise — from the time they launched in 2002, 2003, and 2014.
But last year, a 2018 photo surfaced — not of Chris, but Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.
She was attending a college formal with an antebellum theme:
— Rosé (@TeaAndRoses21) February 4, 2021
That prompted a probe, which revealed her parents had voted for Trump.
She’d ended up with black Bachelor Matt, but allegations of racism ensued.
— pablocita 🇯🇲 (@badgyalrika_) February 25, 2021
Commenting on the calamity to Extra, Chris hailed the virtue of grace:
“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it. We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I have seen some stuff online — this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents, her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this. … I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this? I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that’s it.”
Fast-forward to a Change.org petition and the companion hashtag #FireChrisHarrison.
In response, he came clean — as a whistle, and then some.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Greatest Apology in the World:
“I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke. I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same.”
As it turns out, the man had excused historical racism.
Not only that, he’d trodden in the realm of invocation:
“By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am shamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.”
Harrison specifically addressed black people, along with anyone else not white:
“To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you. I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.”
He said he’d be departing from the show, at least temporarily.
During an appearance on Good Morning America, he expressed hope to return:
“I plan to be back. I want to be back. This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done.”
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview, and I didn’t speak from my heart. That is to say, I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry. I’m sorry to [Extra interviewer Rachel Lindsay], and I’m sorry to the black community.”
More on doing the work:
“Racism, oppression, these are big, dynamic problems and they take serious work. And I am committed to that work.”
Furthermore, Chris announced he was working with a “race educator.”
Additionally on his team: Georgetown University Sociology Professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who was teaching him about “counsel, not cancel.”
Well, apparently, the counsel didn’t take.
As far as The Bachelor’s concerned, it looks as if Chris is still #canceled.
Page Six relays he won’t be returning to ABC hit Bachelor in Paradise.
Instead, he’ll purportedly be replaced by a group of alternating guests.
One such stand-in: David Spade.
— Page Six (@PageSix) June 2, 2021
David’s previously trumpeted his love for the show:
Fortunately for Chris, there’s always next season, as well as the other shows in the franchise.
And there’s plenty of time for more apologies.
But for now, it’s an ugly divorce.
For 20 years, he was married to the show.
One wrong move, and suddenly, he’s quite…the bachelor.
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