AceShowbiz - Chris Harrison's girlfriend has addressed his controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay. Shortly after "The Bachelor" host announced that he will take a break from the long-running dating show for "excusing" a contestant's past racist behavior, Lauren Zima admitted that he was "wrong" for "defending racism."
The Entertainment Tonight correspondent, who has been dating Chris since 2019, sent out her statement via Instagram Story on Saturday, February 13. "What Chris said was wrong and disappointing," she wrote in the post. "Defending racism can never happen. Accountability comes first, what's next is learning and growth."
Earlier that day, Lauren's boyfriend Chris took to his own Instagram account to apologize for a second time for his "ignorance." He began his lengthy message, "I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and 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."
"I set standards for myself, and have to meet 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," the 49-year-old 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," the TV host further pleaded. "I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I've had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism."
Chris then declared that taking a break from the ABC franchise would be his best decision. "The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions," he elaborated. "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."
Chris had already issued his apology on Wednesday, February 10 for his remarks in his interview with Rachel. He regretted his action in defending "The Bachelor" contestant Rachael Kirkconnell for allegedly attending a 2018 fraternity party that a Reddit user described as an "antebellum plantation themed ball."