The Bachelor is forging ahead without Chris Harrison for now.
Just weeks after the embattled host announced he was taking a break from the franchise for a TBA amount of time, we now know who will be the face of the After the Final Rose special.
Harrison has been the face of the franchise since its launch on ABC, but the Host courted much controversy during an interview with former star Rachel Lindsay about current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.
As you are likely well aware, Kirkconnell made past decisions and statements that she has now called “racist and wrong.”
The Season 25 finalist once attended at a plantation-themed party, liked of photos that featured the Confederate Flag on social media.
Harrison caught heat for the way he handled an interview with Lindsay. Instead of thinking about the victims of Kirkconnell’s actions, and instead defended the contestant.
“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” he said to 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… My guess? These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time, they were 18 years old.
“Now, does that make it OK? I don’t know Rachel, you tell me. Were we all looking through [that lens] in 2018?”
The interview immediately sparked backlash, and Harrison issued a statement shortly after.
“While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry,” he said in his statement earlier this week.
“I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”
His apology was not enough to avoid a scandal, however, and he subsequently confirmed he was taking a break.
“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” Harrison wrote on Instagram earlier this month.
“To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”
He continued, “I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before. I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”
After weeks of speculation, Emmanuel Acho revealed via social media that he would be the face of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose Special, which will air March 15.
“IT’S OFFICIAL,” Acho wrote on Instagram.
“I’ve accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year.”
“It’s been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming.
“Share the news! I’ll see y’all then!”
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.