Emmanuel Acho, an author and former National Football League player, will host a post-final special of “The Bachelor” after the show’s longtime host Chris Harrison said he “Withdrew” after making comments dismissive of racism.
Mr. Acho, who wrote the book “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” and hosts a show of the same name, said in a statement that it was “both an honor and a privilege” to host the show. one-hour special on March 15th.
“This is an extremely pivotal episode of one of the most famous shows in television history,” he said.
The installment of a black animator ends a season starring the ABC franchise’s first Black “Bachelor” Matt James, but has also been overshadowed by a string of controversies amid calls from fans of the show to increase its ratings. efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
Mr. Harrison’s hiatus came after an interview with Rachel L. Lindsay, the show’s first black “Bachelorette”, in which Mr. Harrison defended the racist actions of one of this season’s three finalists.
The “After the Final Rose” special “will cover current events on the franchise,” ABC said in a statement, as well as conversations between Mr. Acho, Mr. James and the three finalists.
One of the finalists, Rachael Kirkconnell, was criticized for photos that recently surfaced, including one attending a ‘Old South’ plantation-themed ball. Ms Kirkconnell apologized in an Instagram post, saying, “I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
Mr James said the interview between Mr Harrison and Ms Lindsay “was disturbing and painful to watch,” adding that “it was a clear reflection of a much bigger problem than ‘The Bachelor’ franchise does. had failed to resolve adequately for years. “
Mr Harrison, who is still listed as the show’s host on his website, apologized, writing on Instagram that his comments, like his use of the term ‘woke up the police’ to defend Ms Kirkconnell, were ” unacceptable ”.
Ms Lindsay had suggested last week that Mr Acho “would be fantastic” as the host of the special because he was “very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and that’s up to pretty much the person who said, “I can have these uncomfortable conversations and people trust them.” “
Mr. Acho said on Instagram of the announcement: “I love being a bridge for reconciliation. Our world is disconnected and divided, my goal is to unify. “
Mr. Acho, an analyst at Fox Sports, is a former linebacker for the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles football teams. He left the NFL in 2016 to join ESPN as an analyst.
His YouTube show, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”, covered topics such as the police, the national anthem protests and “Karens & Cancel Culture”. An episode called “A Conversation with the Police” has over two million views.