Tayshia Adams thinks Chris Harrison made the right decision by temporarily stepping down from his Bachelor hosting duties. The Bachelorette reacted to the news on Thursday's episode of her podcast with Natasha Parker and Joe Amabile, Click Bait With Bachelor Nation.
Following a controversial interview in which he defended Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist behavior, Harrison announced on Saturday that he'd be taking time off and would not be be hosting the show's upcoming After the Final Rose special. Kirkconnell has since apologized for her actions, as has Harrison.
"His words affected a lot of people, you know, myself included," Adams said, adding that Harrison stepping aside was "absolutely" the right move. "I think that by him taking ownership, and just not just saying issue an apology and then just going back to work the next day like nothing happened speaks volumes on his behalf."
Adams — who said last Friday she was "really hurt" by Harrison's comments — also pointed out aspects of his apology that resonated with her.
"I think after reading his apology there's a few things that stuck out to me, it hit my heart a little bit more to know he actually meant what he was saying," she shared. "He said, 'By excusing historical racism I defended it' which is the absolute truth, and the fact that he called that out and owned up to that and he acknowledges that, means a lot to me."
"Also the fact that he said, 'This is not just a moment but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make each day' also meant a lot to me, because it isn't just a moment, just like how Blacks Lives Matter isn't just a trending topic on Instagram — it's a thing that's taking place every single day that we should actively try to partake in and better," she added.
Adams said that her stance on second chances is exemplified by her relationship with Zac Clark, works as a recovery specialist after his own battle with addiction.
"I feel like we have to allow people to prove us wrong, and prove themselves," she said. "And I've learned this even in my relationship. I mean, Zachary used to be an addict and he's done a lot of wrong, in a time that I never even knew of him, and he needed somebody to give him a second chance in order to prove himself."
"He wasn't gonna lie anymore that he wasn't going to do drugs anymore, that he wasn't going to do all of the things that he used to do," she continued. "And with that he made an insanely different path for himself and now is helping a lot of people, because of that second chance."
Just after Matt James' Bachelor premiere last month, a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell — an early front runner on the show — of bullying her in the past for dating Black men. Then, another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Pics have also surfaced of Kirkconnell at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college.
In a statement on Instagram on Thursday, Kirkconnell apologized, and said she hoped to "earn your forgiveness through my future actions."
That apology came one day after Harrison issued his own statement, apologizing for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism" by defending Kirkconnell's racist actions and asking people to offer her "grace."
Many fans and Bachelor alums continued to speak out against him, while nearly all the contestants on James' season — including Kirkconnell — shared a post condemning "any defense of racism."
In a follow-up statement on Saturday, Harrison revealed he'd be stepping away for a "period of time."
"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," he continued in part, before sending a message to the Black and BIPOC communities.
"The 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," Harrison wrote.
See more in the video below.
'The Bachelor': Rachael Kirkconnell Advances to Top 4 as Chris Harrison Steps Away From Hosting Role
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