Former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay said she has accepted longtime host Chris Harrison’s apology for defending a contestant after photos resurfaced of her attending an “Old South” themed party at a plantation in 2018.
On Thursday, “Good Morning America” aired Michael Strahan’s interview with Harrison in which he voiced his regret for defending current “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and apologized to Lindsay for how he treated her.
“I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that. I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise,” Harrison said when asked why he defended Kirkconnell last month.
Harrison also said he’s surprised by his own behavior and for how he treated past “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay. It was Harrison’s words to Lindsay during an “Extra” interview last month that resulted in his racism controversy.
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay and I didn’t speak from my heart and that is to say I stand against all forms of racism and I am deeply sorry. I’m sorry to Rachel Lindsay and I’m sorry to the Black community,” Harrison added.
In an interview with Extra’s Billy Bush, Lindsay said she “wasn’t expecting him, you know to address what’s been going on with me because this is the first time we’ve heard from Chris, but the fact that he did address the harassment and the hate that I’ve been receiving, I really appreciate that.”
Bush then asked her: “As for the overall apology, do you accept it?”
She answered: “I do accept the apology, Billy, and I think it’s important for me to say that because I haven’t really talked about, you know, Chris and the statement because I’m not trying to make this a Chris-versus-Rachel, but the fact that, once again, you know — this isn’t the first time he’s apologized to me — he apologized again on ‘GMA’ today and I do accept that and I think it’s important for me to say that because we need to move forward. And for me, for us to move forward, I need to accept the apology, so we can all be better from this situation, which is what we want.”
Earlier this week, Lindsay disabled her account due to intense backlash and online bullying she received since her interview with Harrison went viral. Harrison revealed Thursday he has not communicated with Lindsay since she deactivated her account, but did speak with her initially to apologize.
“I want to do so again,” Harrison said of apologizing to Lindsay. “To anyone who is throwing hate towards Rachel Lindsay, please stop. It is unacceptable.”