Emmanuel Acho to replace ‘Bachelor’ host Chris Harrison for show’s ‘After the Final Rose’ special

Following “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison’s announcement that he would be “stepping aside” from the franchise amid controversy over excusing racism, the reality dating show announced Saturday that author and TV host Emmanuel Acho would take his place for the “After the Final Rose” special. 

Set to air March 15, the one-hour special will air immediately following the show’s season finale. Acho and “Bachelor” star Matt James will discuss the season, James’ final decision and what he has been up to since, along with “current events about the franchise,” according to a news release.

Rachael Kirkconnell, the woman whose photo at a plantation-themed party in 2018 led to widespread backlash and defense from Harrison, will be present, as will James’ other final three women: Bri Springs and Michelle Young.

“I’ve accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year,” Acho wrote Saturday on Instagram. “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.” 

Acho, a former NFL player, is a Fox Sports analyst and the author of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” based on his online series that aims to open dialogue about racial ignorance and insensitivity. 

TV host and author Emmanuel Acho will replace "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison for this season's "After the Final Rose" special. (Photo: Chris Pavlica)

On Friday, Rachel Lindsay, the first Black lead on “The Bachelorette,” deleted her Instagram account after receiving “hate from ‘Bachelor’ fans,” according to her podcast co-host Van Lathan.

“My co-host on ‘Higher Learning,’ Rachel Lindsay, disabled her Instagram earlier today,” Lathan said in an Instagram video Friday. “She did it because that’s how much hate she is getting from Bachelor fans who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say.” 

“Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can’t read the room in these present 2021 times,” Lathan said. “You’re going after the wrong person.”

Lindsay interviewed Harrison Feb. 9 on “Extra” about the backlash Kirkconnell was facing for liking Confederate flag-related TikToks and, more recently, for a resurfaced photo that appears to show her attending a plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018.

“We all need to have a little grace,” Harrison told Lindsay.

Week 7 of "The Bachelor" was hard to watch without thinking of the racism controversy with front-runner Rachael Kirkconnell and host Chris Harrison. (Photo: ABC)

The “Bachelor” host apologized to Lindsay and the public for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.” Following his apology, Lindsay went on to announce she would not be renewing her contract with the franchise. The next day Harrison announced he would be “stepping aside” from his role as “Bachelor” host “for a period of time.” 

During this time Lindsay had been getting “rude” and “hateful” backlash from fans of the show according to her podcast co-host Lathan. 

“Its not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn’t understand what the (expletive) triggers people in today’s world,” Lathan said. 

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Contributing: Cydney Henderson and Elise Brisco

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