Many members of Bachelor Nation are pushing for Rachel -- who starred as the first-ever Black lead ofThe Bachelorette -- to host the live After the Final Rose special next month given Chris decided not to participate due to his controversial defense of Rachael Kirkconnell's racist past earlier this month.
Many The Bachelor fans believe it's fitting Rachel should host the live Season 25 broadcast considering she had been personally offended by Chris' words in their Extra interview and she would be interviewing the franchise's first Black Bachelor in the show's history.
"ABC and Warner Bros. have spoken to Rachel about the possibility of hosting the After the Final Rose special and they would like her to take on the role," a source toldUs Weekly.
"She is still weighing the options and is pushing for After the Final Rose to include a bigger conversation about race overall in the franchise. No final decision has been made yet."
Chris had attempted to take accountability for "excusing historical racism" in his early-February Extra 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."
Not only are members of Bachelor Nation disappointed and upset with Chris for using terms such as "the woke police" and saying backlash against Rachael was "unbelievably alarming," but tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition to remove Chris from his job permanently.
Chris has hosted The Bachelor since it premiered in 2002, and he went on to host the spinoffsThe Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor Winter Games, andThe Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart.
According to a source, ABC has had "conversations" about editing Chris out of the remaining episodes of Matt's The Bachelor season and The Women Tell All, which were already filmed.
"If not, they may add a disclaimer at the top of the remaining episodes," the source said, adding that The Bachelorette's seventeenth season may be delayed to give Chris more time away from the franchise.
In seasons past, a new The Bachelorette season typically goes into production shortly after The Bachelor season preceding it wraps on TV.
Just last week, however, Rachel told E! News that she was "not even thinking" about the possibility of replacing Chris as The Bachelor host.
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"I think the bigger picture is that there is an issue and Chris is recognizing it, other people are recognizing and I think if my message is to really make change and to really create a level of awareness, then I can't be focused on trying to take somebody else's job," Rachel said.
"I am just focused on really us getting to a place of unity where we can all be better."
Rachel told co-host Billy Bush in an Extra interview of Chris potentially resuming his role with the franchise, "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."
"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?"
During Chris's controversial interview with Rachel for Extra earlier this month, Chris had dismissed the severity of Rachael being photographed at a plantation-themed "Old South" fraternity party at Georgia College & State University in 2018 and liking insensitive content on Instagram, such as a friend standing in front of a house displaying the Confederate flag.
"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 had 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 had 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 had argued. "Because there's a big difference."
"It's not a good look EVER," Rachel had insisted. "She is celebrating the Old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?"
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."
Rachael also issued an apology of her own on February 11, 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 on Instagram.
"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 February 22 response to the Chris and Rachel racism controversy, click here.