Harrison has been the face of the Bachelor franchise since the series debuted back in 2002, hosting every Bachelor season and every offshoot over 18 years.
Now, Harrison is set to receive a huge sum of money, to the tune of a mid-range eight-figure payoff, reports Deadline. The high figure is trade off for Harrison to “keep his mouth shut” as he exits. According to Deadline, “The usual platitudes are expected to be exchanged for public consumption when the agreement is made public later today, but there is certainly no romance in the air behind the scenes.”
According to reports, “the form of the final split itself was uncertain until early this morning.” Harrison’s reps have been in “increasingly intense negotiations over the past few days with WBTV and, to a lesser extent, the Disney-owned ABC.”
The confidential settlement with franchise producers and distributor Warner Horizon was finally reached after “one more flurry of back and forth between the parties and Bachelor broadcaster ABC on Monday night.” On the other side, Harrison’s lawyer promised to “unleash the Shiva of lawsuits exposing a swath of The Bachelor’s alleged dirty laundry unless his Gersh-repped client emerged feeling the financial love.”
Harrison first got into hot water after taking Bachelorette Rachael Kirkconnell’s side after photos surfaced of her attending an antebellum themed party back in 2018 while a college student. An interview with the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay grew heated as Harrison defended Rachael, blaming “woke” culture for Rachael’s predicament.
After intense backlash, Harrison announced he would step aside for a time. He apologized, his PR approved words met with skepticism in some quarters. It turned out that Matt James, the first Black Bachelor, handed Rachael the final rose. But after the photos surfaced, he broke off the relationship (months later, the two reconciled).
In the meantime, Emmanuel Acho hosted the live Bachelor After the Rose special, where Matt and Rachael had an awkward confrontation. Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe co-hosted Katie Thurston’s Bachelorette. And reportedly, David Spade and other celebrities yet to be named will host the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise.
UPDATE: It’s official. Chris Harrison has left the Bachelor franchise for good
Warner Brothers and ABC joint statement: “Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.”
Chris Harrison statement via social media: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”