Chris attempted to take accountability for "excusing historical racism" in his interview with Rachel and noted The Bachelor's historic 25th season "should not be marred or overshadowed" by his "mistakes" that he intends to learn and grow from on a "profound and productive level."
"Where do we go as a franchise? It's kind of hard to say," Rachel, who starred on The Bachelorette's thirteenth season, recently told co-host Billy Bush in an Extra interview.
"Chris has stepped aside, which I think is the right decision because, like he said, he needs to take time to get educated and on a profound and productive level, to use his words."
Many members of Bachelor Nation, past and present cast members, however, appear to be extremely upset and disappointed with Chris' comments.
The Bachelor "Women of Season 25" even posted the same statement on Instagram siding with Rachel and denouncing racism, and tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition to remove Chris from his job.
"I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong in what he said in that interview -- and he needs time. He needs to step away to do that. As a franchise, though, where do you go from here?" Rachel told Billy.
When asked whether she thinksThe Bachelor franchise should cut ties with 49-year-old Chris permanently, Rachel replied, "I think you have to see what happens. I don't want to play into things too quick to judge someone, right?"
Chris has hosted The Bachelor since it premiered in 2002, and he went on to host the spinoffs The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor Winter Games, andThe Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart.
"Am I disappointed? Absolutely," Rachel continued of Chris. "Do I agree with what happened in that interview? No. But at the same time, he has taken the steps to not issue one, but two apologies."
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
But Rachel apparently believes Chris has his work cut out for him if he's to reprise his role on ABC.
"Now I will say this: To see the contestants come together and speak out and to say what they don't stand for, I don't know how we continue in this way," Rachel explained.
"How do you when people of Bachelor Nation are upset, the contestants of this very show, the leads of the show? How does he go on to represent the franchise when people are so upset by what they saw in that interview that we had?"
Rachel admitted she was stunned by Chris' interview and his willingness to make his opinion on Rachael's social-media controversy public.
"I walked away and there was no apology. The apology came after the fact. So it's hard for me to fully accept it," Rachel explained.
"I'm going to need that time and space and compassion that he referenced to really accept that apology, because you weren't apologetic at first. I'm not saying I can't believe his apology and I'm not saying that I can't get there. It's just initially, it's a little tough for me."
During his controversial interview with Rachel, the first-ever Black The Bachelorette star, Chris had lashed out at "the woke police" and expressed his belief that the public reaction to Rachael's history of racist behavior was "unbelievably alarming."
Chris first issued an apology on February 10, but it wasn't enough for many members of Bachelor Nation. He therefore released a more extensive apology February 13 in which he revealed he'd be stepping away from The Bachelor franchise for a while.
"I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke," Harrison wrote in his second apology.
"I set standards for myself, and have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same."
He added, "By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong. To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you."
In Chris and Rachel's Extra interview last week, Chris took a strong stance in Rachael's defense after the bachelorette had been accused of liking offensive and insensitive content on Instagram such as a friend standing in front of a house displaying the Confederate flag.
Rachael had also been accused of bullying a girl in high school for dating Black men, cultural appropriation, and attending an antebellum plantation-themed "Old South" fraternity formal with friends at Georgia College & State University in 2018.
"I haven't talked to Rachael about it. This is where we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," Chris began in the controversial interview.
"Because I have seen some stuff online -- this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl's life apart and diving into her parents and her parents' voting record. It's unbelievably alarming to watch this."
In regards to the Old South party Rachael apparently attended, Chris said, "I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago and that's it. Like, boom."
In response to Chris, Rachel countered, "The picture was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party. That's not a good look. It's not a good look."
"Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018 or, is it not a good look in 2021?" Chris argued. "Because there's a big difference."
"It's not a good look EVER," Rachel insisted. "She is celebrating the Old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?"
Rachel criticized Matt's The Bachelor frontrunner for waiting six weeks to break her silence on the allegations that had been attached to her ever since Season 25 premiered in early January, but Chris said Rachael was not dealing with "reasonable people" on social media and wouldn't be able to "please everybody" with a statement, regardless of how eloquent it may be.
Rachael did, in fact, issue an apology of her own on Thursday, February 11 on Instagram, just two short days after Extra published Chris' interview.
"At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist," Rachael wrote.
"I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one's responsibility to educate me. I am learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist."
To read Matt's opinion on the allegations against Rachael, click here.
And click here to read spoilers on Matt's season and how far Rachael made it in the process.