The news was announced on Saturday, February 27, with the former NFL star revealing the news on Instagram. “IT’S OFFICIAL: I’ve accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year,” he captioned a photo that showed him holding a single red rose. “It’s been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. Share the news! I’ll see y’all then!”
“Happy for you bro!” former Bachelorette contestant Bryan Abasolo commented on the post. “I have no doubt you will do a fantastic job!”
The 30-year-old’s hosting gig comes after Harrison announced earlier this month that he was temporarily stepping down as Bachelor host for AFTR after controversy over his comments supporting Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell amid an outcry over her past racist actions.
“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” Harrison wrote in a statement on Instagram on February 13. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special. I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.”
Harrison made headlines on February 9 when he addressed the allegations against Kirkconnell during an Extra interview with former Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay.
“First and foremost, I don’t know [exactly what’s going on]. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” he told Lindsay, 35. “I have seen some stuff online. Again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart. … Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this.”
After he was called out by Bachelor Nation alums and others, Harrison apologized for “speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.”
Kirkconnell also released a statement about her past actions, which included “liking” photos with the Confederate flag in the background and attending an antebellum-themed party on a former plantation in 2018.
“I’m here to say I was wrong,” she wrote on Instagram on February 11. “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
As host of the live After the Final Rose special, which airs right after The Bachelor finale on Monday, March 15, Acho will be speaking to Matt James about his journey as well as talking to Kirkconnell and her fellow finalists Michelle Young and Bri Springs.
“I love being a bridge for reconciliation,” Acho wrote on Instagram on Saturday. “Our world is disconnected & divided, my goal is to unify.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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