In his first interview since temporarily stepping away as host of the ABC series, Harrison told Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan that while there’s “more work to be done,” he’s “excited” to be a part of the change for the franchise.
As Bachelor Nation fans may know, Harrison received backlash for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell—who has been accused of liking a photo showing a Confederate flag as well as appearing at a 2018 antebellum plantation-themed party—in a Feb. 9 interview with Rachel Lindsay.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” Harrison told Strahan. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
Harrison went on to publicly apologize to Lindsay. “I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I can’t believe I didn’t speak against antebellum parties, what they stand for,” he said. “I didn’t say it then and I want to say it now: Those parties are not OK, past, present, future. And I didn’t speak from my heart. And that is to say that I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community.”