Season 25 of The Bachelor has had its ups and downs, but it seems like one of audiences' burning questions has finally been answered. Former Bachelor host Chris Harrison stepped down from his position following controversial comments in defense of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Here's what fans should know about the new host, NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
New 'Bachelor' host, Emmanuel Acho, has a lot of experience discussing social justice.
Emmanuel began his professional football career after getting drafted by the Cleveland Browns, and briefly by the New York Giants the following year. Emmanuel ended his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. Currently, he works as a Fox Sports analyst, but he also hosts a web series called Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man, which seeks to provide a metaphorical cure for racism through the titular uncomfortable conversations.
The subjects Emmanuel has broached include everything from kneeling during the national anthem, to "reverse racism," to a conversation with Matthew McConaughey. Rachel Lindsay, former Bachelorette and co-host of the podcast Bachelor Happy Hour, told People that Emmanuel was her first choice to replace Chris because of his long dedication to addressing racism with his web show.
Rachel said, "[Emmanuel's] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, 'I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.' Who better to lead it? [He's] someone who's not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias — I think it'd be great."
Will Emmanuel replace Chris Harrison permanently on 'The Bachelor'?
It is important to note that this hosting gig would not be long-term, as Chris has only specified that he would be stepping away for the After The Final Rose special. Rachel also clarified to People she wouldn't presume that Emmanuel would stay on after this special, and that Chris himself has not said he's stepping away from The Bachelor on a permanent basis.
For those out of the loop, Chris Harrison announced via Instagram on Feb. 13, 2021, that he would be "stepping aside for a period of time" and not hosting the After The Final Rose special. He did not announce when he would be returning, only that he wanted to sincerely apologize for his choice of words (using the phrase "woke police" is typically a negative term in correlation with social justice issues).
Some of Bachelor Nation don't quite agree with Rachel, and as a response to negative online comments, Rachel deleted her Instagram account. Fans took to Twitter to discuss what was happening with the show, but it seems like most are enthusiastic about the direction Emmanuel's participation could take. Even a few football fans chimed in that they'd be happy to watch The Bachelor now that their favorite linebacker was getting involved.
While Chris Harrison's status as host is still up in the air, it's clear that ABC is trying to ensure the best foot forward by hiring Emmanuel to have those well needed discussions with contestants in After The Final Rose. We can't wait to see Emmanuel on the show!
After The Final Rose will air March 15, 2021, on ABC.