“I do accept the apology,” Lindsay, 35, told Extra’s Billy Bush on Thursday. “And I think it’s important for me to say that because I haven’t really talked about, you know, Chris and the statement because I’m not trying to make this a Chris vs. Rachel.”
The former Bachelorette noted that this isn’t the first time Harrison, 49, has apologized to her after he defended season 25 Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell last month amid allegations over the front-runner’s past racially charged actions.
“We need to move forward,” the “Bachelor Happy Hour” cohost said, acknowledging Harrison’s willingness to say he’s sorry multiple times. “And for me, for us to move forward, I need to accept the apology, so we can all be better from this situation, which is what we want.”
The Bachelor Nation host admitted that he is “an imperfect man” who “made a mistake and I own that” during his GMA appearance earlier in the day.
“I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise,” Harrison said. “And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
He also addressed his defense of Kirkconnell, 24, during his initial interview with Lindsay on February 9, after the graphic designer made headlines earlier this year for attending a plantation-themed event in 2018 and “liking” photos with Confederate flags in the background.
“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I can’t believe I didn’t speak against antebellum parties, what they stand for,” Harrison said on Thursday. “I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community.”
Harrison, who temporarily stepped back from the franchise in February, then spoke about the social media bullying Lindsay has faced as a result of the interview he did with her, asking fans to stop “throwing hate” toward her.
When speaking with Bush, 49, on Thursday, Lindsay revealed she “wasn’t expecting” Harrison to address the harassment she has received over the past month, which resulted in her deactivating her Instagram account. “The fact that he did address the harassment and the hate that I’ve been receiving, I really appreciate that,” she said.
Lindsay also spoke about what Bachelor Nation needs to do to heal and start over after the controversy, saying, “In 2020, it was all about people realizing things that they hadn’t before. It was a level of awareness that was created that people hadn’t necessarily recognized.”
The Ghosted: Love Gone Missing host continued: “And out of that also came conversations that we should be having whether they’re tough, uncomfortable, whatever it may be. Isn’t that what this should be as well?”
The former attorney noted the issues of racism that came to light amid her conversation with Harrison are “bigger” than the ABC dating show.
“I think it’s important that we continue the conversation, we continue to move forward. And I think that’s the best thing that we can hope for out of all of this,” she said.
Harrison, for his part, announced on Thursday that he plans to “be back and I want to be back” as the host of The Bachelor, saying, “I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change. There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change.”
The former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host previously apologized to fans and Lindsay in two separate Instagram posts in February.
Kirkconnell has also publicly apologized twice, writing via Instagram, “I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.” She also admitted that “at one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were.”