During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Harrison was asked why producers dropped Pell, a Texas native and war veteran, last-minute and went in a totally different direction by casting Viall, a controversial and polarizing character inThe Bachelor franchise.
"He was definitely a viable candidate and he was atop the board," Harrison said of Pell, who finished in fourth place on JoJo Fletcher's season of The Bachelorette.
"There's always this ongoing debate. And really, nothing has changed. I think we do this year to year. I think what's changed is social media and stories getting out, and you kind of find out what's going on behind closed doors more than ever. But Luke was definitely a part of that conversation."
Pell spoke to numerous media outlets after Viall's casting, expressing his disappointment and frustration with how The Bachelor franchise handled the situation. He told E! News in early September, "I didn't deserve that."
"But at the end of the day, it's all about sincerity, and when you're talking to these potential candidates about being the Bachelor or the Bachelorette and their first questions are about money or potential job opportunities or music careers -- and they're not asking about dates, women, love and these things -- then we just, we really need someone who is actually sincere," Harrison divulged.
Harrison was clearly taking a shot at Pell, who is an aspiring singer and songwriter. Pell's music career wasn't discussed much on The Bachelorette, but he's since revealed it's his true passion.
"I know people think that the show is kind of silly, but we really do take it serious and Nick was a very sincere guy," Harrison continued. "And you will see throughout this [The Bachelor season] he was sincere about going on 'this journey' as we call it and finding love."
Pell had told E! news in September that producers made the decision to cast Viall as the Bachelor on August 28 and he learned of the news only 11 hours before he was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles to begin filming. Viall was officially announced as the new leading man on Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise's August 30 broadcast.
"I'm fine, I'm content. It's the same as how I left The Bachelorette, unexpectedly," Pell had said. "If they think that they have a better candidate for the show, that's fine. But it's the way that it was handled. Asking me to be genuine and authentic and open and vulnerable... and then I don't get genuine and authentic in return from the organization."
Pell said that in addition to being a singer, songwriter and guitarist, he also had "a couple entrepreneurial ventures and non-profits" he was working with.