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Chris Harrison not returning for 'Bachelorette' Season 17

Chris Harrison not returning for 'Bachelorette' Season 17
ABC said Chris Harrison will not host next season of "The Bachelorette." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 13 (UPI) -- ABC announced that Chris Harrison will not return as host of the upcoming 17th season of The Bachelorette.

Emmanuel Acho replaced Harrison as host of the Bachelor Season 25 After the Final Rose special after Harrison said last month that he was temporarily stepping away from the franchise.

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The move followed a backlash Harrison sparked for defending Bachelor contestant Rachel Kirkconnell when she was blasted online -- then apologized -- for old social-media posts perceived by many as culturally insensitive.

Season 25 starred Matt James as the dating competition show's first Black bachelor.

In an interview with Extra host Rachel Lindsay -- who became the first Black bachelorette in 2017 -- Harrison asked for "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" from the "woke police" for Kirkconnell.

He later apologized after he was accused of perpetuating racism.

"We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season," ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon said in a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter Friday.

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"As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world."

This will be the first time someone other than Harrison will host a season of either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette since the franchise began in 2002.

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