The Bachelor's Chris Harrison slammed for 'insincere' GMA apology as host Michael Strahan calls response 'surface-level'

THE Bachelor's host Chris Harrison was slammed by fans for his "insincere" apology during his Good Morning America interview as host Michael Strahan called it "surface-level."

Chris, 49, did his first interview on Thursday morning following his stepping down as host after being he was accused of defending "racism" following his defense of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's "old south" photo.

During his interview, Chris insisted that he "planned to be back" to his job as host of the franchise after apologizing to Bachelor Nation and Rachel Lindsay for his racist remarks and defending Rachael Kirkconnell.

However, fans, much like Michael, had noticed that Chris came off as robotic and claimed his answers had been rehearsed before going live.

One viewer took to Twitter to say: "That 'apology' was horrid and insincere. He showed more passion defending racism than apologizing for doing so. Chris Harrison must go. #FireChrisHarrison."

A second one chimed in and said: "@chrisbharrison sounded very rehearsed in his interview on @GMA. He was being himself/unrehearsed when he was talking down to @TheRachLindsay. Don't let the apology tour fool you people!!!"

A third addressed Bachelor Nation and tweeted: "How about you DO make Chris Harrison's GMA nterview his finish line, AND make it @michaelstrahan's starting line as new host. @chrisbharrison's demeanor still stinks of unrepentant privileged WASP male. We all saw that."

A fourth one commented: "The Chris Harrison interview is effectively meaningless. 'I didn't speak from my heart,' he said on GMA.

"No, I think he already did exactly that: On Extra, had *13 uninterrupted minutes* and an interviewer who was trying to help him. He said what he meant."

And a fifth pointed out that Chris had written what he was gonna say beforehand and shared: "Clearly Chris Harrison still needs to put in a ton of work because like Michael Strahan said his apology was a surface response at best.

"A sincere apology comes from within and not from looking down at notes with dead eyes."

Bachelor Nation seemingly agreed with Michael, who told his GMA co-hosts after the interview: "His apology is his apology, but it felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this.

"Obviously he’s a man who wants to clearly stay on the show, but only time will tell if there’s any meaning behind his words."

Michael was actually rumored to be a possible replacement for Chris, but ultimately, former NFL player Emmanuel Acho is set to host The Bachelor: After the Final Rose.

Bachelor Nation's comments come just hours after Chris did his first interview with Michael, where he said: "I am imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that.

"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. 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 said.

When asked by Michael what was the reason why he thought Antebellum parties were fine to do in past years but not now, he responded: "There is none. Antebellum parties are not ok, past, present, future. Knowing what that represents is unacceptable."

And as for his interview with Rachel, he said: "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.

"I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community."

He then claimed to Michael that he apologized to Rachel L. and did so once more on the interview.

"To anyone who is throwing hate at Lindsay, please stop. It is unacceptable."

Rachel L. had been forced to deactivated her account after some Bachelor Nation fans claimed she had ruined the franchise.

Chris continued: "I am not a victim here, I made a mistake and I own that. Racism and oppression take serious work and I am committed to that work."

As for his future plans, he claimed that he will work to get back into the good graces of Bachelor Nation.

He said: "I plan to be back and I want to be back. And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change.

"I know that change is felt, not just by me, but by many others. And we are excited and willing to do the work to show that progress.

"This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change."

The popular ABC franchise has faced plenty of backlash during season 25, which is currently being led by Bachelor Matt James.

The controversy began when it was revealed that Georgia contestant Rachael K had attended an Antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018 and the 24-year-old's past social media history was put under scrutiny for her questionable posts.

After Rachael K received backlash, Chris defended her during an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra.

Chris said at the time: "We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I've seen some stuff online… again, this 'judge, jury, executioner' thing where people are just tearing this girl's life apart."

He added: “I haven't heard Rachael speak on this yet, and until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say [anything]?”

After receiving backlash for the statement, Chris said he was ashamed of his comments and said he was stepping down as the host of the franchise.

He said: “…I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better.”

The Sun revealed that Chris won't be coming back as producers make the effort to add diversity to all levels of the dating show.

The source shared: "There's been big staffing changes on all levels. More people of color have been hired as producers, editors, sound engineering, administrative positions and everything in between.

“ABC is also implementing more diversity training for everyone involved on the show."

Rachel L. also received pushback when she spoke out against both Chris and Rachael K for perpetuating historical racism and was forced to leave Instagram after trolls continued to attack her.

While she's no longer on Instagram, the former Bachelorette has continued speak about the situation.

During Tuesday's episode of her podcast Higher Learning, the 35-year-old said: “I think that they should just stop until … they get the train back on the tracks.

“You’re gonna go into another season but you still have all these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season? You really haven’t.”

She added that producers should "take a beat" before continuing with more episodes.

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