The past several weeks in Bachelor Nation have been filled with way more controversy than ever before. After what many former leads, contestants, and fans would likely call a very disappointing interview with former star of The Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, host and executive producer Chris Harrison has stepped away from the franchise after apologizing for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism." We don't know yet if or when Harrison will return to the shows, but now former contestant Ivan Hall, who made it quite far on Tayshia Adams' Season 16, is sharing his thoughts on the serious matter.
Ivan Hall, who was pretty universally loved by fans while appearing on Tayshia's recent season of The Bachelorette, appeared on E!'s Daily Pop to discuss the franchise and all of the controversy over Chris Harrison. When asked whether or not he thought that Harrison stepping back from his duties was the right move, Ivan responded, but also added in his thought about this year's potential Bachelor in Paradise season, and noted:
I definitely think that was the right step for Chris to take a step back for now. And even going forward, I honestly don't know how this will all shake out, but for myself for example, if they have future shows and if they were to ask me to be on like Bachelor in Paradise or something like that—and I'm sure a lot of other contestants feel this way as well—I wouldn't feel comfortable if Chris is there, to be quite frank. Not saying he can't make a recovery, can't learn from all of this, but, you know...it would just be too soon, really. I think he needs to take some time, really look into himself and really just have a lot of tough conversations and understand why he believes the things he believes at this point in his life.
In Chris Harrison's apology, he offered a "promise to do better" to those who'd come out to hold him accountable for defending current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and her past of racist behavior, which was revealed online once Matt James' season of The Bachelor began. The impact of both her past actions (which she finally apologized for shortly after Harrison did) and the defense of those actions by Harrison, who has been the public face of the franchise since its inception, during the long-hoped for first season with a black Bachelor, has not been lost on millions of fans, who've wanted the shows to be more inclusive for a very long time.
Chris Harrison's comments and the fallout from them have led to an even more public division between fans, as there are now two petitions on Change.org about his future, with one calling for him to be reinstated at some point, and one calling for him to be fired. Many former leads, like Rachel Lindsay, along with former contestants such as Taylor Nolan and Mike Johnson, have spoken out against both what Harrison said in the interview and him coming back any time soon.
In addition, Matt, who's still watching his season of The Bachelor unfold on TV, recently spoke out about the "devastating and heartbreaking" situation, and how the "franchise has fallen short on addressing" issues of racism behind the scenes.
Many of the women of Matt's season also banded together after Harrison's initial interview to post a joint statement to each of their social media accounts, noting that they were "deeply disappointed" and "denounce any defense of racism." Again, there's no word right on on whether or not Chris Harrison will return to the franchise, but it's clear that many wouldn't feel that such an idea would be a good move.