Chris Harrison Calls His Exit From ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise “A Very Toxic Situation”: I’m “Grateful That I’m Gone”

TV

Chris Harrison is reflecting on his tumultuous exit from The Bachelor franchise with a bit of gratitude.

More than two years ago, Harrison stepped away from the franchise following backlash for defending Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who had received her own share of criticism for attending an antebellum-themed party in college.

Now, during an interview on Bachelorette alum Jason Tartick’s podcast, he said he still views the show as “a blessing,” though he also admits it was a “toxic situation” toward the end.

“I still look at this as a blessing in my life. It was hard at first. Obviously, it wasn’t immediate that I felt great about everything, because what I went through was tumultuous,” Harrison said. “I don’t wish it on anybody. It was horrifying on a lot of levels and something that I pray to God my worst enemy never goes through. But, with that said, I knew I had to remove myself from what became a very toxic situation.”

Harrison also speculated that, had he been given the chance, he probably could have weathered the storm and “figured it out.”

“We all could have figured it out, but I had to remove myself from that toxic situation,” he continued. “And so I’m proud of that decision. I’m proud that I handled it the way I did and I still look at [the show] as a blessing because it changed my life on so many levels.”

Harrison also reflected on the positive aspects of hosting the franchise for nearly 20 years, including the friends (and money) he’d made.

He added: “Financially, of course. It changed my life. It changed my kids’ lives…but at the same time I can also be grateful that I’m gone. That’s a relationship I don’t need to be in anymore because it wasn’t healthy.”

Still, leaving the show when he did forced him to ” mourn the loss of something that I didn’t intend to exit then.”

“I would have probably soon, but not then, like that,” he said, explaining that he’d been approached to host other reality series since his exit, but he’d refrained from accepting. “And so there was mourning a loss there and I had to realize, like when I left my marriage, take your time and don’t just jump back into the next relationship. That’s not the bandaid that’s gonna heal that wound.”

Nobody should get their hopes up for Harrison’s return to The Bachelor franchise, either. The reality star told Tartick without hesitation that he isn’t open to hosting The Bachelor anymore.

He also suggested that the series has begun “going downhill” since he left, and it will face an uphill battle trying to hold onto its crown among the slew of dating series that have tried to take its place in the cultural zeitgeist over the past few years.

““Once I left, people started taking their shots at the champ and they’ve succeeded and now there’s competition and now there’s shows [that] are in the zeitgeist, they’re being talked about, they’re getting press that we used to get,” he said. “Again, it’s hard to survive when when you don’t have those eyeballs anymore, because people will talk about another show.”

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