The Bachelor's Chris Harrison 'can NEVER return as sole host' after he 'steps away' from show over racism accusations

THE BACHELOR’S Chris Harrison “can never” return as the sole host of the reality series, a production source exclusively told The Sun.

The longtime face of the franchise will have a “completely different” role in the future following fan outrage for “defending racism” amid the Rachael Kirkconnell controversy. 

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An insider revealed to The Sun that Chris, 49, stepping away indefinitely from hosting was a “mutual decision” as he knew ABC had to “take action.”

The source continued to explain: “As of right now, execs don't believe he can continue being the sole host of the show. 

“Whether or not he has some kind of a co-host or is removed on-camera completely remains to be seen.”

As for the series’ fate, the insider continued: “The show will undergo big changes moving forward. It's been under fire for race issues before but never like this. 

“Not with the main face of the entire franchise. It's a terrible look and it will impact Chris' role completely moving forward.”

Though the backlash remains ongoing, the informant claimed execs have “not yet made a decision” if Chris will return as a full-time host. 

If he does, it will “not be in the same exact away he’s been doing it for 20 years,” they claimed. 

According to the source, execs are “nowhere close” to picking a potential replacement but said that whoever does step up for the After The Final Rose special could be auditioning for the gig. 

In addition to missing out on the remainder of the Bachelor live specials, the insider revealed that it’s “very likely” Chris will not be returning to host Bachelor In Paradise when it begins productions in a few months. 

Reps for ABC did not respond to The Sun's request for comment.

Fans have called for Chris to be fired for “unacceptable” comments made while chatting with former Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay – the first Black lead in the show’s history. 

Chris asked fans to show “compassion” for Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, after resurfaced photos showed her attending an “Old South” plantation party in 2018. 

During the chat, the TV personality also continued to speak over the ex Bachelorette and claimed the racism problems were “okay” in 2018 but “not in 2021” – while adding he’s “not the woke police.”

Following days of scrutiny, Chris announced in a lengthy Instagram message he will be stepping away from the show due to “excusing historical racism.” 

"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.”

He went on: "By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uniformed I was. I was so wrong.”

The Bachelor Nation star went on to reveal that he will be stepping aside from hosting the After The Final Rose special to get educated on a "more profound and productive level than ever before.”

In response to his comments, ex Bachelorette Rachel slammed the host and confessed she “can’t do it anymore.”

The ex attorney added that she had been having a "really, really hard time" accepting Chris' apology because at the time of their interview on Tuesday he had "no problems" with his words.

Last week, The Sun reported that ABC "may fire" Chris as the network is "considering all its options" when it comes to his position "for the first time" in the show's history.

Father-of-two Chris became the first – and only – host of the franchise when The Bachelor first premiered in 2002. 

The following year, he began his role on the first season of The Bachelorette. 

In the two decades since, he has gone on to be the face of the show and all its spinoffs, including Bachelor Pad and Bachelor In Paradise. 

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