The most recent “Bachelorette” lead, Tayshia Adams, reacted to Chris Harrison’s announcement that he is stepping back from hosting “The Bachelor” franchise “for a period of time” after his controversial interview with Extra in February.
On Thursday’s episode of Click Bait with Bachelor Nation, Adams, who is biracial and identifies as Black and Mexican, said Harrison’s move is “a really good thing.”
This month, Harrison, 49, was criticized for defending current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s attendance at an “Old South” antebellum-themed party at a plantation in 2018.
The longtime emcee apologized after intense backlash from fans and critics alike. Adams said his words mean a lot to her.
‘BACHELOR’ HOST CHRIS HARRISON ‘STEPPING ASIDE’ FOLLOWING BACKLASH OVER RACISM CONTROVERSY
“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 explained.
“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,” she continued.
“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 Black 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,” Adams said.
‘BACHELOR’ HOST CHRIS HARRISON APOLOGIZES FOR ‘SPEAKING IN A MANNER THAT PERPETUATES RACISM’
“His words affected a lot of people, you know, myself included,” she described. “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 also said she believes in second chances and allowing someone to redeem themself. “I feel like we have to allow people to prove us wrong, and prove themselves,” she said.
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The 30-year-old also reflected on being the franchise’s second woman of color to lead the dating reality TV show. The first was Rachel Lindsay, who conducted the interview with Harrison on Extra.
“I remember being on the show, and I think I’ve said this before, but I used to get a lot of DMs of people, just even mixed girls in particular, just saying like, ‘I haven’t seen someone of my race been in a role like you or on TV that I can actually relate to,'” Adams said. “It means a lot to me.”
Kirkconnell has also apologized for her past actions which she called “racist and offensive.”
‘BACHELOR’ CONTESTANT RACHAEL KIRKCONNELL APOLOGIZES FOR PAST RACIST ACTIONS
The 24-year-old, who is a Season 25 frontrunner and dating the franchise’s first Black bachelor Matt James, issued the lengthy statement on social media.
“I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist,” she wrote. “I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me.”
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She pledged to “continue to learn how to be antiracist” and that “it’s important to speak up in the moment and not after you’re called out.”