- The Bachelor -Will Rachel Lindsay Replace Chris Harrison As 'Bachelor' Host?
It shouldn't be up to Rachel Lindsay, The Bachelorette's first Black lead, to save the franchise from itself. But, as Chris Harrison steps back from The Bachelor following a baffling interview with Lindsay, in which he defended actions of a current contestant that perpetuated racism, fans are calling on the former Bachelorette to take the lead. Literally. But will Rachel Lindsay replace Chris Harrison? She's not saying no — but she isn't saying yes, either.
"I am not even thinking about that," Rachel told E! News on Tuesday, Feb. 16, when asked about potentially replacing Harrison as the host of the franchise. "I think the bigger picture is that there is an issue and Chris is recognizing it, other people are recognizing, and I think if my message is to really make change and to really create a level of awareness, then I can't be focused on trying to take somebody else's job." She's not thinking about it, got it, but she's also not shutting down the idea completely. So, is there hope? I'd say it's a solid maybe.
In the days since the fallout from Harrison's interview, Rachel has expressed her frustration with the franchise. She's said on multiple occasions that she's considering not renewing her contract with her Bachelor Nation podcast, Bachelor Happy Hour. "I am just exhausted and really need to separate myself from direct affiliation with the franchise," she wrote during a Reddit AMA on Monday, Feb. 15. She continued, saying, "I don't want to be a part of something that is representative of the franchise at the moment." At the moment.
Rachel clearly isn't interested in being used as a prop to absolve The Bachelor for its tolerance of racism, nor should she be. If Harrison is only stepping back for one After the Final Rose ceremony with plans to return for next season of The Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise, as has been rumored, then it seems certain that Rachel would not return. Why would she? Without a commitment to accountability and change within the structure of the franchise, Rachel coming in to host the After the Final Rose would do nothing other than give Harrison the night off and provide The Bachelor with the appearance of trying to do better.
As is, Rachel seems completely uninterested in any future role in the franchise, and I don't blame her. Speaking with E!, she said that the "only way real change will happen is if the people who are making the decision" include a person of color. Clearly she doesn't want to be involved unless there's a tangible shift beyond temporarily putting Harrison on the bench.
If the powers that be at The Bachelor want to see Rachel take over Chris Harrison's role, then there needs to be a commitment to long-term change. If they want her to help the franchise by stepping in as Bachelor host, they're probably going to need to give her an entire season of The Bachelorette — minimum. Also a big fat paycheck. It's what she deserves.