According to Deadline and other sources, Harrison’s departure stems from comments he made about Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s scandalous past. For a refresher, Season 25’s Bachelor was Matt James, the first Black Bachelor in the show’s history. In February 2021, weeks before the season 25 finale, photos surfaced of Kirkconnell participating in a fraternity formal with an antebellum plantation theme (via Deadline).
After the revelation, Harrison defended Kirkconnell in an interview with Rachel Lindsay on Extra TV, decrying “cancel culture.” “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” Harrison told Lindsay. “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 … I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago that’s it.”
Both Harrison and Kirkconnell later apologized, but the damage was done. Harrison was reportedly able to secure the eight-figure compensation after his lawyer threatened to file several lawsuits that would expose the franchise’s “alleged dirty laundry.”
Thanks to confidentiality agreements, it’s unlikely the full story behind Harrison’s departure will ever come out. But based on what’s publicly available, it sounds like “The Bachelor” franchise has just as much drama behind the scenes as it does on camera.