Emmanuel Acho will be hosting “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” special, replacing longtime franchise host Chris Harrison.
ABC announced that Acho, 30, will discuss the outcome of the 25th season of “The Bachelor” with Matt James, the franchise’s first Black bachelor.
Acho, a former linebacker in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles from 2012 to 2014, replaces Harrison, who announced two weeks ago that he was “stepping aside” from the franchise after his second apology for a controversial interview he had with a former star of the show.
Acho will talk with James about the reality star’s “season, his final decision and where he is now, as well as cover the current events about the franchise,” according to a news release issued on Saturday. “Acho will also speak with the final three women, Bri (Springs), Michelle (Young) and Rachael (Kirkconnell) during the one-hour special.”
“It’s both an honor and privilege to be hosting ‘After the Final Rose,’” Acho said in a statement. “This is an incredibly pivotal episode on one of the most storied shows in television history.”
After playing football, Acho became a sports analyst and author, writing “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” last November.
Harrison hosted “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs, including “The Bachelorette,” since the ABC franchise first launched in 2002, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Harrison’s decision to step away came after a 13-minute interview on Extra with former “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Harrison spoke out on behalf of Kirkconnell, who was reportedly photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018, CNN reported.
In his interview with Lindsay on Feb. 9, Harrison said people should have “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” for Kirkconnell.
“The picture was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party,” Lindsay told Harrison. “That’s not a good look.”
“Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference,” he asked Lindsay in reference to the “Old South” party photos. “Where is this lens we’re holding up and was this lens available, and were we all looking through it in 2018?”
“It’s not a good look ever,” Lindsay said. “If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”
Kirkconnell also apologized after Harrison, Variety reported.
“I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them,” Kirkconnell said. ”I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
Lindsay, 35, told People that Acho had been her choice to replace Harrison.
“We think Emmanuel Acho would be fantastic,” Lindsay told the website. “(He’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.”
“The Bachelor” airs on ABC on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.