“I am an imperfect man I made a mistake and I own that,” he told co-anchor Michael Strahan. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress not just for myself also for the franchise.”
Harrison, 49, who stepped away from the ABC dating reality series following the interview, also blasted “Old South”-themed parties, which he first defended when Lindsay called out contestant Rachael Kirkconnell for attending one in 2018.
“Antebellum parties are not OK,” he said. “Past, present, future, knowing what that represents is unacceptable.”
Harrison apologized to 35-year-old Lindsay, who was the first black “Bachelorette,” again and the black community for his interview and apparent defense of Kirkconnell’s alleged racist behavior.
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay, and I didn’t speak from my heart and that is to say I stand against all forms of racism,” he said. “I’m sorry to Rachel Lindsay, and I’m sorry to the black community.”
Harrison, who hasn’t spoken to Lindsay since she deactivated Instagram, called for the harassment against her to end.
“To anyone who is throwing hate to Rachel Lindsay, please stop,” he said. “It’s unacceptable.”
Harrison made it clear that he is “not a victim” and is committed to making changes for himself and the ABC franchise going forward.
“I made a mistake and I own that,” he said. “Racism, oppression, these are big dynamic problems and they take serious work. I am committed to that work.”
Harrison also said he’s been working with race educator Dr. Eric Dyson, who has taught him the idea of “counsel, not cancel.” As a result, Harrison said he’s taken “full accountability” for his actions and learning from the black community by listening.
He’s hoping his efforts will allow him to come back to Bachelor Nation.
“I plan to be back. I want to be back,” he said. “This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done.”
Following the interview, Strahan described his conversation with Harrison as a “surface response.”