Where is he? Chris Harrison was introduced to Bachelor Nation during the season 1 premiere of The Bachelor in March 2002. While the show features new leads each season and has had several spinoffs, the one consistent part of the franchise was Chris. However, that all changed when he stepped down from his role as host in June 2021. Keep reading to find out what Chris is up to today and why he left the show.
When Did Chris Harrison Start Hosting ‘The Bachelor’?
The first season of The Bachelor followed leading man Alex Michel looking for love. As Alex navigated dating several women at once, Chris kept fans in the loop and helped guide Alex on his journey to the altar.
The first season was a hit, and Chris solidified himself as a familiar face for viewers. He went on to host the next 25 seasons of the show, as well as the spinoffs The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, The Bachelor Winter Games, The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart and The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!
Why Did Chris Harrison Leave ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise?
In June 2021, Chris found himself at the center of controversy as Matt James’ season was airing. The season’s winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, faced backlash for previously liking Confederate flag-related TikTok videos, as well as for attending a plantation-themed party in 2018.
In light of the controversy, the longtime host defended Rachael during a February 2021 Extra interview with former The Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
“We all need to have a little grace … Because I’ve seen some stuff online, again this judge-jury-executioner thing, where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart,” he said at the time. “I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to.”
“The woke police is out there. And this poor girl Rachael, who has just been thrown to the lions,” Chris continued. “I don’t know how you are equipped when you have never done this before, to be woke enough, to be eloquent enough, to be ready to handle this.”
After facing backlash from fans, Chris issued an apology to Rachel while appearing on Good Morning America in March. He explained that he was “stepping aside for a period of time” from the franchise, though insisted he would return to host the shows.
However, former franchise stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe were then hired to host season 17 of The Bachelorette in June. That same month, Chris revealed he was permanently leaving the franchise for good.
“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote via Instagram. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
What Is Chris Harrison Up to Today?
Chris seems to be focusing on his personal life following his exit from the franchise. After the scandal, Chris relocated from Los Angeles to his home state of Texas in June 2021.
He got a fresh start by wiping clean his Instagram account, with his first post now announcing his engagement to Lauren Zima in October 2021. “I love you @laurenzima The next chapter starts now!” he wrote alongside a photo from the proposal.
The couple began dating in August 2018, while they made their red carpet debut at a pre-Screen Actors Guild Awards party in January 2019.
In addition to sharing photos with his fiancée and two kids – whom he shares with his ex-wife, Gwen – Chris has also revealed he’s still in contact with a number of Bachelor Nation stars. The former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host has posted and been tagged in photos with Tyler Cameron, Wells Adams, Ben Higgins and Andrew Firestone.
While Chris seems happy in his personal life, he has not booked any hosting gigs since stepping away from the ABC dating franchise.