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Reports: Chris Harrison won't host 'Bachelor in Paradise' this summer

It's the second season in the 'Bachelor' franchise Harrison will miss since his highly criticized comments about former contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.
Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
FILE - This Oct. 28, 2012 file photo shows Chris Harrison at the Hamilton "Behind the Camera" Awards at the House of Blues West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Chris Harrison will not be returning to host "Bachelor in Paradise" this summer and will instead be replaced by a rotating series of celebrities including comedian David Spade, according to multiple industry reports. Harrison has been under fire for months for his handling of a swirling racial controversy on "The Bachelor."

Variety, Page Six and People are among the outlets reporting the change.

Harrison came under fire after an interview on “Extra” when he was asked about racially insensitive past behavior from current “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.

Past photos of her resurfaced in which she is dressed in costume as a Native American and at an antebellum plantation themed ball. Kirkconnell later issued an apology for what she calls her past “racist and offensive” actions.

In the interview, Harrison defended Kirkconnell against what he called the “woke police” on social media. “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," he said in the interview.

In a statement posted in February, Harrison apologized for defending Kirkconnell's actions. “By excusing historical racism, I defended it,” he wrote. He said he was stepping aside from his TV show “for a period of time." He did not host the ”After the Final Rose" special that followed the season finale of “The Bachelor.”

Harrison is also not hosting the upcoming season of "The Bachelorette" which starts Monday, and was replaced by former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

Harrison had served as the only host of the franchise since "The Bachelor" debuted in 2002.