THE Bachelor host Chris Harrison's Wheel of Fortune episode "is postponed and likely canceled" after he "defended racism," sources exclusively told The Sun.
An ABC production insider revealed that the network had halted Chris' episode on the popular game show "indefinitely" for “defending racism” during the Rachael Kirkconnell controversy.
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Chris asked fans to show “compassion” for Rachael, 24, after resurfaced photos showed her attending an “Old South” plantation party in 2018, prompting a major backlash.
The ABC source exclusively told The Sun his comments resulted in the episode being axed: "Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune has postponed airing an episode starring Chris Harrison as a guest contestant indefinitely.
"The episode was filmed in late January and was scheduled to air this week on Thursday [February 18]. Following all of the recent backlash, ABC pulled the episode.
"It was a network decision, not up to the Wheel Of Fortune producers. The network is going to play it by ear about what to do moving forward with hopes to air the episode as of right now on the 25th.
"But there’s a big chance the episode will be scrapped entirely and not air at all. If they re-filmed, it would be with new celebrity contestants. Chris starred in his episode with Robert Herjavec and Alfonso Ribeiro."
In addition, the press release that announced the episode appears to have been removed from the ABC site and now comes up as a 404 – but the URL is still visible.
The Sun contacted ABC for comment on Tuesday.
The news comes after insiders exclusively told The Sun that Chris, 49, “can never” return as the sole host of the reality series.
Fans have called for Chris to be fired for “unacceptable” comments made while chatting with former Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay – the first Black lead in the show’s history.
The TV personality also spoke over the ex Bachelorette during the interview as he claimed the racism problems were “okay” in 2018 but “not in 2021," before adding he’s “not the woke police.”
After days of scrutiny, Chris announced in a lengthy Instagram message he will be stepping away from the show due to “excusing historical racism.”
He said: "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.
"By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uniformed I was. I was so wrong.”
The Bachelor Nation star went on to reveal that he will be stepping aside from hosting the After The Final Rose special to get educated on a "more profound and productive level than ever before.”
Last week, The Sun reported that ABC "may fire" Chris as the network is "considering all its options" when it comes to his position "for the first time" in the show's history.
Father-of-two Chris became the first – and only – host of the franchise when The Bachelor first premiered in 2002.
The following year, he began his role on the first season of The Bachelorette.
In the two decades since, he has gone on to be the face of the show and all its spinoffs, including Bachelor Pad and Bachelor In Paradise.
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