June 8 (UPI) — Longtime “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison has permanently exited the reality TV series franchise.
TMZ reported Tuesday that Harrison, 49, has left the franchise for good after 20 years as host.
Us Weekly said Harrison will receive an eight-figure payout from ABC. Harrison reportedly reached the settlement hours after the premiere of Katie Thurston’s season of “The Bachelorette” on Monday.
Harrison’s reps were in increasingly intense negotiations with Warner Bros. Television and ABC over the past few days, according to Deadline.
Harrison was previously on a leave of absence. Rumors of his permanent exit surfaced last week after reports said David Spade and other celebrity guests will host “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 7.
Harrison stepped away from the franchise in February after “speaking in a way that perpetuates racism” in an interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay on “Extra.” In the interview, Harrison defended Bachelor Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who later apologized for “offensive and racist” past actions.
Harrison apologized on Twitter in February and again in an interview on “Good Morning America” in March.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” Harrison said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, but also for the franchise.”