Rachel Lindsay Reacts to Chris Harrison Leaving The Bachelor: I’m Shocked!

Rachel Lindsay is not about to do any victory laps.

She knows better than that.

But the first-ever Black Bachelorette, who has become a leading critic of this franchise ever since her run concluded, had to say something about Chris Harrison, you know?

Lindsay was front and center, after all, for the scandal that ended up leading to the host's permanent departure from ABC.

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay on Set

Indeed:

On Tuesday afternoon, Harrison confirmed that he won't be returning as emcee of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise.

"I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter," Harrison wrote on yesterday via Instagram, adding:

"I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime."

Chris Harrison Bachelorette Photo

This development was a long time coming, for anyone who has been paying attention.

Back in February, Harrison appeared as a guest on Extra and spoke to Lindsay about a number of social media posts from Bachelor suitor Rachael Kirkconnell's past.

Harrison responded to the controversy of, for example, Kirkconnell having attended a plantation-themed party just three years ago, but asking for critics to show Rachael "grace" and for seemingly hurling shade at the "woke police."

It was a pretty bad look for Harrison at the time.

Chris with a Rose

He has since apologized on multiple occasions and he announced late this winter that he'd be taking a temporary break from his hosting duties.

Alas, that break is no longer temporary.

Sources claim that Harrison will walk away from The Bachelor with millions of dollars in his bank account, prepared for whatever job lies ahead.

What does Lindsay think of the departure?

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay

"I wasn't expecting for it to happen, not after the announcement," the 36-year-old former Bachelorette star said in a conversation with Extra host Billy Bush last night.

Lindsay added that she believes fans and viewers can only "speculate" at the reasons behind Harrison's exit.

Was it by his own volition?

Or, after Harrison claimed a few months ago that he planned to be back, was he forced out?

Chris Harrison Profile Picture

"I think several past contestants coming forward and saying they didn't want him to be part of Paradise.

"I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before she went to film her season was that Chris needed to step away," Lindsay continued.

"I think that, coupled with the interview that happened on this very stage, maybe led to him not coming back."

Thurston - the current Bachelorette, who was also on Matt James' season - Tweeted on February 26 that she "will always be a Rachel Lindsay supporter."

Chris Harrison for The Bachelor

Lindsay did her best to remain diplomatic in responding to the Harrison news. 

"Well, it's been 19 years and if you do watch the show we saw less and less of Chris," she said on Extra.

"19 years is a big accomplishment. Maybe that's the case. We don't know. Maybe they were ready to move on."

For the first time since 2002, a different host (or hosts, as the case has proven to be, between Tayshia Adams and Kailtyn Bristowe) took to The Bachelorette stage this past Monday night when Thurston made her debut.

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

Deadline, which broke the news of Harrison's departure, reported that the host will receive an eight-figure payout to step away and stay mum about his exit.

He almost definitely signed a non-disclosure agreement, so we shouldn't expect him to spill any secret any time down the line.

Lindsay, for her part, reiterated this week on Extra that she previously said she accepted Harrison's apology for how he mishandled the Kirkconnell saga.

"I still stand by that," she said. "I do. I think that's the way to move forward."