Chris Harrison reportedly "saddened" and "frustrated" about 'The Bachelor' departure, source says he was "hopeful for foregiveness"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/09/2021
Chris Harrison has given the impression he's grateful for his time on The Bachelor and is in a good place as he leaves the franchise permanently, but sources are now revealing how he allegedly really feels.
"Chris is saddened to leave The Bachelor franchise," a source close to Chris told E! News.
"It was his whole life and identity for many years and he was hopeful he would continue his contract."
ABC said the network is "thankful" for Chris' "many contributions over the past 20 years" and they wish him well, and Chris wrote on Instagram how he's had an "incredible run" as host of The Bachelor since 2002 and made friendships that will "last a lifetime."
The source said Chris wanted to keep hosting The Bachelor franchise beginning in 2022 and "has been in tough negotiations for weeks," but "ultimately, the studio decided this was what's best."
"He knows he made a mistake but was hopeful forgiveness would be granted," the source added.
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"The whole situation is frustrating for him," the insider toldUs Weekly. "Until things are settled legally and contractually, he can't even plan his next steps."
Chris, however, has reportedly received new job offers already and is focusing on the future.
"He's been getting all kinds of offers on projects, so he's hoping to lock something in soon," the insider shared.
"He has a team who has been supporting him this entire time and is working on his next move. He's hosted other shows in the past so safe to say this isn't the end of Chris Harrison hosting!"
A third source told Us, "He's elated and relieved to be able to explore future opportunities."
Chris was reportedly surprised by the decision for him to leave the franchise because he "had been left in the dark over a lot of behind-the-scenes franchise decisions," according to the magazine.
For example, Chris reportedly had no idea whom ABC had been planning to bring in as the hosts of Bachelor in Paradise's upcoming seventh season until he saw headlines in the news last week about celebrity guest hosts taking over, including actor and comedian David Spade.
Los Angeles-based, high-profile entertainment litigator Bryan J. Freedman represented Chris in the last couple of months and allegedly threatened a heavy lawsuit and to expose The Bachelor franchise's well-kept secrets over the last 20 years unless Chris was satisfactorily compensated.
As The New York Post previously reported in March, Chris was "ready to tell the truth about how things really work" behind the scenes in The Bachelor franchise and had "plenty of evidence" to back up his revelations.
As executives were reportedly weighing their options for a new host recently, a person close to Chris told Variety that his attorney was "outraged" over how the matter was being handled.
"Chris has had a spotless record for 20 years... He has always been the good company man, but, after the way he's been treated by producers and executives over the past couple of weeks, he's run out of cheeks to turn," a Chris friend told Page Six at the time.
Chris agreed to remain tight lipped and not air The Bachelor's dirty laundry once he was offered the big settlement, according to Deadline.
Chris announced in February he'd be "stepping aside" from his hosting duties with The Bachelor franchise "for a period of time" to educate himself on racism in society in a "profound" and "productive" manner after he made offensive remarks in an early-February Extra interview with Rachel, who starred asThe Bachelorette's first Black leading lady on Season 13.
In the Extra interview, Chris had defendedMatt James' girlfriend Rachael -- the winner of The Bachelor's 25th season -- as she faced backlash for her racially-ignorant and racially-insensitive actions in the last several years.
Chris wished for "grace" and "compassion" for Rachael and had adopted a dismissive attitude towards photos of Rachael that resurfaced from an antebellum-plantation themed "Old South" fraternity party at Georgia College & State University in 2018.
He was also blasted for using terms such as "the woke police" to drive his point home.
Chris previously issued three public apologies for his offense, two of which were written statements posted on Instagram and one that later took the form of a verbal apology during a March appearance on Good Morning America.
"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," Chris said during the March 4 episode of GMA.
Chris admitted he was "saddened and shocked" at how "insensitive" he behaved in that interview with Rachel. He expressed his deepest apologies and said he didn't speak from the heart and stands against "all forms of racism."
"I am committed to 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. I plan to be back and I want to be back."
Since the start of Chris' scandal, Bachelor Nation has seemed conflicted over whether his reinstatement would send the right message considering viewers have been pleading for more diversity and racial equality in the franchise for years.
Many The Bachelor viewers had claimed they are boycotting the show over Chris' absence since he has been the face of the franchise for nearly two decades while other viewers believe Chris' departure is a step in the right direction as the franchise attempts to produce change.