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Chris Harrison ‘Stepping Aside’ from ‘The Bachelor’ Amid Racism Controversy; Rachel Lindsay Says She’s Ready to Cut Ties with the Franchise

Photo: JPI

The historic season of The Bachelor is now marred in controversy.  Matt James, became the reality-dating franchise’s first black lead bachelor, and his season is currently airing on ABC.  Over the past few days things took a troubling turn when front-runner contestant Rachael Kirkconnell was called out for “liking” racially-insensitive social media posts, and one which saw her in costume, attending an antebellum plantation-themed ball.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Chris Harrison addressed the situation during an interview on Extra with Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first black ‘Bachelorette’ back in 2017.  During their conversation, Harrison expressed that that people should have “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” for Kirkconnell. Lindsay did not agree with his view of Kirkconnell and the situation, nor did many fans of the show, who after Harrison’s interview aired started a petition for his removal from the show, and called him about for racist comments.  The next day, Harrison apologized for his comments in a post.

Photo: ABC

On Thursday, Kirkconnell apologized for racist behavior on her Instagram here.

That brings us to Saturday, where now Harrison is stepping aside for now from his hosting duties with the show.  He shared on Instagram: “I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke.  I set standards for myself, and have to meet them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same. By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term ‘woke police,’ which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong.  To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful. I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you. I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I’ve had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism.”

He then said, “The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. 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. 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. From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man, and I humble myself before all of you. I hope I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself.”

Photo: JPI

As for Lindsay, she publicly shared she was not O.K. with her interview with Harrison, and on Friday, and on her podcast, shared: “When I finished that interview with Chris Harrison, he had no problems with it.  He was fine. He texted me after. He appreciated the conversation. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably get a little flack,’ but thought it was great that we could disagree but do it in a civil way.”

Rachel added: “During that conversation, his privilege was on display. He never gave me room to talk, and he never gave me room to share my perspective. He wasn’t trying to hear it, he was just trying to be heard.”

Now, Lindsay wants nothing more to do with the franchise, sharing, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t do it anymore.”

So, what do you think of this latest dilemma and controversy facing The Bachelor franchise?  But first, watch Harrison’s interview with Lindsay on Extra, then share your comments on the situation below.

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The worse thing that ever has happened to this country social media we have literally hit bottom of the pit ! Tell me when was the last time your family looked at each other in the face? Had a conversation ? Did a puzzle played scrabble said I love you said a prayer and was thankful for food on the table took a bike ride took a walk tucked your child in bed made popcorn went skating ! Just a question ? So very sad for our country ! You won’t find the answers if you become involved with tearing each other apart ! Just a thought!!! And yes my post had nothing to do with the subject just a sad day for me and hoped maybe we just all might treating each other with kindness.

@Kay slavery and the racism attached to it as a by product is a real thing for all black Americans. It’s a hurtful, hateful thing perpetuated through the years by far too many white people world wide. To consistently fob it off, tell people to get over it and deal with it is beyond the pale. Popcorn, puzzles, skating, and prayers that it will all simply just vanish in the wind shows why this is and always will be something one race of people will deal with for decades and centuries to come. That’s just sad and pathetic. You can’t swan off into an alternate bubble of reality, put your fingers in your ears and loudly shout “LA LA LA LA LA LA”. Black people certainly can’t.

ALL people have problems!

I agree, davlestev1. I have the same disagreement with someone in my book group. He even rationalized Southern house slavery with “at least they learned a trade.” Seriously? The book CASTE has really opened my eyes to some insidious, subtler forms of racism that are STILL present every day. It makes me feel quite ashamed of our nation’s apathy.

Kay, this is a good post. It does remind those who checked out, social media has taken away face to face communication, it gives power to say whatever you want, right or wrong, its out there to judge and you will always lose! If I were in the spotlight I would never speak to anyone because they will twist and turn just to make you look bad and sell their show because everyone will be talking about XYZ!

Social media isn’t the problem. It’s people trying to hide their true viewpoints And beliefs, getting caught, and getting called out. How utterly insensitive of you to say ALL people have problems. Blame it on social media. Don’t condone wrong racist behavior. End of.

Say hello to Joe!

May God grant you eyes to see, ears to hear and the wisdom to use both to ascertain the truth. Hi Joe. Thank you for replacing the sense of dread with a calming peace. So many rocks that sprang open are slowly closing downward again. Peace and Love.

This show must make a lot of money for ABC,beyond that I really don’t get its appeal, I mean,its kind of sleazy, cheesy, pathetic and degrading regardless if your female competing for the affection on one guy or vise versa, yet this show gets buzz, and featured on GMA weekly, only other in house show that gets that kind of attention from them is Dancing with the stars, again the buzz and money that it makes must be the reason, otherwise why we make a big deal about a “sleazy dating show”. ?.and are we really surprise that its white host step in major shit and was oblivious and didn’t understand why, I mean isn’t that what being white and entitled is all about,

I don’t think Chris said anything wrong. Ever since George Floyd, everyone who says or does one wrong thing is being hung from the nearest tree, so to speak. Was the party bad? Yes. I haven’t seen the posts she liked, but they were probably bad. But the fact is, if Rachel was such a horrid racist, how can she have fallen in love with a black man? And Chris is between a rock and a hard place, but he handled things as well as he thought he could at the time. LEAVE HIM ALONE. And, frankly, CALM DOWN. Just because you say something off color doesn’t mean you’re living under a KKK hood. STOP IT!

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Kim Kardashian, Emma Roberts and Marlene King Land ‘Calabasas’, a Soap in the Vein of the ‘O.C’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210’, at Netflix

There has been lot of soapy projects coming to life and in the works of late, and now comes word that Kim Kardashian is executive producing a new series in development for Netflix called Calabasas.

After a bidding war last week, it looks like Netflix cemented the development deal from Kim, and her producing partners American Horror Story co-star Emma Roberts (pictured below) and Pretty Little Liars creators Marlene King and Alexandra Milchan.

The concept of Calabasas is based on the book If You Lived Here You’d Be Famous By Now by Via Bleidner.  King set to write the adaptation and will serve as the series showrunner.

Photo: JPI

According to Deadline, Calabasas is said to be in the vein of primetime young teen and young adult soaps the O.C. and Beverly Hills 90210. The story follows “Via, a 16-year-old sheltered Midwestern Catholic school girl whose world is turned upside down when her family moves and she’s forced to transfer to the fast world of Calabasas High where nothing is as it appears and where everyone is trying to be someone else. It’s a place where dreams come true … but not without complications and sometimes unforeseen consequences.”

Photo: Hulu

As fans of the Kardashians know, Kim and her family made the town of Calabasas a household and worldwide name. Kim being attached to this project helped make its sale. This marks her fourth project to sell since the writers and actors strikes concluded at the end of last summer.

So, would you be interested to see a teen soap called ‘Calabasas’ on Netflix from Kim and company? Comment below.

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The Young and the Restless and General Hospital Actress and Writer, Meg Bennett, Passes Away at 75

Meg Bennett, who had played Julia Newman and later became a writer for the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless has died at the age of 75.  The news comes from her family who shared that she lost her battle to cancer back on April 11th.

Daytime fans remember fondly, Meg’s portrayal of Victor’s (Eric Braeden)first wife. Bennett joined the show in 1980, after her first soap stint for two years in the role of Liza Walton on Search for Tomorrow.

Impressed by her story notes, the late Bill Bell, then head writer of Y&R, had Meg doing double duty acting and writing on the show from 1983-1987. When he decided to write off the character of Julia, he also wanted Meg to stick around as a writer.  Not only did this begin a whole other daytime career for Bennett, but she was not done playing Julia either. Throughout the decades, Julia would still come back to Genoa City for a visit. Most recently, Y&R fans saw Julia in 2018, and again in 2020.

Photo: JPI

Bennett also appeared on Santa Barbara and was a writer on that show as well from 1991-1993. She played the role of Megan Richardson. It was next that Meg had her longest writing stint coming to ABC’s General Hospital. Meg wrote for GH from 1993-2011.

In 1995, Bennett won her first Daytime Emmy for writing and her personal life changed after falling in love with nine-time Daytime Emmy winner, former GH head writer, Bob Guza Jr. In addition, GH also utilized Bennett for her acting skill when she was cast as the villainess Allegra Montenegro.  Meg and Bog Guza were officially married in 2004 and purchased a home once owned by Boris Karloff and Gregory Peck.

Photo: JPI

Additionally, Meg wrote for The Bold and the Beautiful 1987-1989 and later served as a executive story consultant to Brad Bell from 2002-2004.  She also wrote for Sunset Beach, Generations and GH: Night Shift throughout her writing career. She went on to win five WGA Awards for GH and Santa Barbara.

Meg is survived by her husband of 19 years, Robert Guza Jr., two stepdaughters, four grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Meg Bennett via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Steve Kent Reportedly OUT as Sony Pictures Television VP in Charge of DAYS and Y&R

On Friday, reports surfaced that Steve Kent, Senior Executive Vice President of Programming at Sony Pictures Television, is no longer with the company and overseeing the Sony soap operas, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless.

According to Soap Opera Digest, a set side source reported that Kent’s last day was last Friday, April 12th, which was one day after what would have been his final appearance in his Sony VP role at the Days of our Lives 15,000th episode on set celebration.

During that ceremony, Kent gave a brief speech giving kudos to DAYS for its incredible milestone. Days is a co-production of Sony Pictures Television and Corday Productions, while Y&R is produced by Bell Dramatic Serial Company in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Photo: JPI

Kent started his soap opera career as a producer for CBS’ defunct Capitol and then as the supervising producer of NBC’s Santa Barbara from1984 to 1993.

Photo: JPI

At Sony, before his role overseeing the soaps, Kent was Senior Executive Vice President of International Productions for Sony Pictures Television International department.

If reports are true, the question becomes who has taken over his position, and would oversee DAYS and Y&R from the Sony side? Share your thoughts on this developing story via the comment section below.

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