The actuality sequence host gave his first interview to Good Morning America and stated admitted he made “a mistake” defending present frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell’s previous racist social media posts. He stated he is been “working closely with a race educator” and others for the reason that controversy unfolded — and stated he plans to return to the present.
“It was a mistake,” Harrison, 49, stated on the high of the interview. “I made a mistake.”
Asked why he defended Kirkconnell for liking a social media picture containing a Confederate flag and attending an “Old South” plantation-themed get together in 2018, he stated, “I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that. I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
As for initially defending it, he now thinks, “Antebellum parties are not OK. Past, present, future, knowing what that represents is unacceptable.”
His protection of Kirkconnell was throughout an Extra interview performed by the primary Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. He additionally apologized for the way in which he spoke over Lindsay throughout that dialog and did not hearken to her.
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay,” he stated. “I didn’t speak from my heart and that is to say I stand against all forms of racism. I am deeply sorry. I am sorry to Rachel Lindsay and I’m sorry to the Black community.”
Harrison stated he apologized to Lindsay personally, he stated. He additionally requested individuals who have been posting hateful messages on her social media pages, main her to deactivate her Instagram, “Please stop. It is unacceptable.”
Harrison went on to say he is “not a victim here. I made a mistake. I own that.” He stated he is “committed” to the work about higher understanding racism and oppression.
“I sought out leading scholars, teachers, faith leaders, people like Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who I am so grateful for, and I’ve also been working closely with a race educator and strategist. I thank them all,” Harrison stated. “But Dr. Dyson often talks to me about counsel. Not cancel, and that is full accountability, understanding what you didn’t understand, owning that, learning from that, seeking counsel often in the community that you hurt, learning from them, listening, gaining experience, knowledge and moving forward.”
And after doing that work, he hopes to return to the present that he is been the face of for nearly 20 years.
“I plan to be back and I want to be back,” Harrison stated. “And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change. I know that change is felt, not just by me, but by many others. And we are excited and willing to do the work to show that progress.”
He continued, “This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change.”
The interview was performed by GMA‘s Michael Strahan, who did not appear bought on what he heard.
“His apology is his apology, but it felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this,” he stated after the interview ran. “Obviously, he’s the man who wants to clearly stay on his show, but only time will tell if there is any meaning behind his words.”
The Bachelor finale, that includes the primary Black Bachelor Matt James and the After the Final Rose particular will air on March 15.
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