Chris Harrison’s girlfriend Lauren Zima spoke out about his controversial comments regarding racism and a “Bachelor” contestant, which has ultimately led him to step down from hosting duties temporarily.
“What Chris said was wrong and disappointing. Defending racism can never happen,” Zima wrote in an Instagram Story on Saturday. “Accountability comes first, what’s next is learning and growth.”
Zima, 33, is a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and she’s also the host and creator of “Roses And Rosé,” a review show that is dedicated to recapping ABC’s reality dating series “The Bachelor.”
Chris Harrison’s girlfriend of two years, Lauren Zima, addressed his recent scandal in an Instagram Story post. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Her critical post of Harrison, 49, went up to for her 189,000 followers to view, and comes two days after her famous boyfriend issued an apology for defending “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who has been called out for attending an Antebellum party in 2018 among other racially-charged actions.
In an “Extra” interview with former “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay on Tuesday, Harrison expressed that he thinks Kirkconnell should be granted “a little grace, a little compassion, a little understanding.”
By Wednesday, Harrison issued an apology to fans who thought he was dismissive of the situation and allegedly perpetuated racism during his discussion with Lindsay, 35.
“To my Bachelor Nation family – I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed,” Harrison wrote in an Instagram post. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am deeply sorry.”
Three days later, Harrison shared another lengthy apology via Instagram that further acknowledged language he regrets using the term “woke police” along with notifying fans that he will be leaving “The Bachelor” temporarily.
Chris Harrison, 49, has issued two apolpgies regarding comments he made in defense of “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
“My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you… I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism,” he wrote in reference to the Black and BIPOC community. “This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”
Season 25 of “The Bachelor” features 29-year-old real estate broker and entrepreneur Matt Jones, who is the first African American man to serve as the leading love interest in “The Bachelor” series. Meanwhile, Kirkconnell, 24, is a frontrunner in the season.
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James on a date during an episode of “The Bachelor.” (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Kirkconnell broke her silence on Thursday with a statement she shared to Instagram.
“While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong,” she wrote. “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.”