Chris Harrison exits the ‘Bachelor’ franchise with an NDA & eight-figure payout

ABC Winter TCA Party Arrivals

Back in February, Chris Harrison was interviewed by Rachel Lindsay about the then-current season of The Bachelor, and how one of the contestants on the show had a history of being pretty racist. Chris shrugged off the contestant’s racism in a really blithe and privileged way, so much so that the backlash from Bachelor Nation was immediate. Within days, Chris offered several different comprehensive apologies and willingly stepped down from the franchise which he had hosted for years. It was believed by Chris and his team that he would eventually be back after the dust settled. Chris was pretty mad to see that wasn’t the case, and that the franchises were already making plans to move on without him. So he basically threatened to sue everybody until he got a financial settlement for walking away. From Deadline:

Just hours after the 17th season of The Bachelorette debuted, longtime host Chris Harrison has exited the romance franchise for good. Having fronted the Mike Fleiss-created The Bachelor and all its lucrative ABC spinoffs since 2002, Harrison will receive a rose of his own in the form of mid-range eight-figure payoff and promise to keep his mouth shut, I hear. The usual platitudes are expected to be exchanged for public consumption when the agreement is made public later today, but there is certainly no romance in the air behind the scenes.

While there whispers over Harrison’s permanent breakup with the Bachelorverse were all over town after it was revealed last week that Fleiss pal David Spade and others would be guest-hosting the next season of Bachelor in Paradise this summer, the form of the final split itself was uncertain until early this morning. Penciling in the Bachelorette premiere as their event horizon, Harrison’s reps have been in increasingly intense negotiations over the past few days with WBTV and, to a lesser extent, Disney-owned ABC. After that deadline of sorts came and passed last night with the money issue resolved, it was the legal stray ends that remained.

[From Deadline]

Deadline goes on to say that Chris and his lawyers threatened to not only sue ABC and WBTV, they also threatened to go public with behind-the-scenes Bachelor/ette dirt if they didn’t get the settlement they wanted. Page Six spelled it out more than Deadline, and their sources have a figure on Harrison’s settlement: $25 million.

“The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison demanded a $25 million payout after being booted from the show — and threatened to spill all the franchise’s dirty secrets if he didn’t get it, sources told Page Six.

“He has nearly 20 years of dirt,” an ABC source said Tuesday. “Instead of handing them a rose, he was absolutely ready to hand them a lawsuit detailing all the behind-the-scenes details.”

Harrison, 49, has been stewing since he got the boot for defending contestant Rachel Kirkconnell in her controversial race row — and insiders said he wasn’t going down without a fight.

“Chris Harrison’s whole life was ‘The Bachelor,’ and he didn’t want to let go,” the source said. “He still is really sad to leave, and there have been very tough and very heated negotiations going on for weeks.”

Network honchos had hoped that Harrison would be “gone quickly and quietly” so that they could leave the public-relations nightmare behind them as fast as possible, the well-placed source said. But Harrison — who was the frontman for the wildly successful franchise for the past 19 years before the bloom went off the rose — was having none of it, the source said. Negotiations between Harrison and ABC brass over his exit ended up being more explosive — and dramatic — than any season finale, a second network source said.

“He knows a lot about inappropriate behavior on set: fights between contestants, misbehavior including use of illegal substances while overseas and complaints from producers that were allegedly brushed under the carpet by ABC execs,” the first source said. “He was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there — and he has plenty of evidence to back him up. Chris was making $5 million a season and wanted $25 million to go,” the source said.

[From Page Six]

I mean… I would be curious to know some of that dirt anyway, especially if it involved criminal activity, sexual assault and/or unsafe working conditions. If Harrison has “dirt” on that kind of criminal behavior, then he should go public anyway. But if his dirt is more of the “producers kind of forced this couple to stay together for the publicity” and “Ditzy McDuckLips was drunk as a skunk” variety, then I don’t get the $25 million payout just to silence him.

Chris Harrison  at the Disney/ABC TV TCA....

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

13 Responses to “Chris Harrison exits the ‘Bachelor’ franchise with an NDA & eight-figure payout”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Amy Bee says:

    Now would be a great time to end this show.

  2. Watson says:

    I will never understand the appeal of a million women trying to date one dude.

    Is Chris Harrison a douche? Yes. But was that absolutely a toxic work environment? Hell yes. I totally believe he knew all the things (and let them all slide because it never affected him). He’s not some morally upstanding whistleblower. Just a bitter man paid to shut up.

  3. ThatgirlThere says:

    If he’s threatening to tell all the secrets to get a huge payout then he just shows he’s trash. Gross show. Gross guy.

  4. Harper says:

    I know someone who worked with Bachelor producer Mike Fleiss in his private life and said he is the absolute worst. So I believe Chris Harrison was not overpaid to keep quiet on what went on behind the scenes. This show is my guilty pleasure; I have never laughed harder than reading the online commentary. The franchise should really be classified as a comedy. Ever since Harrison became a producer, the show has diverged into focusing on manufactured conflict … it creates the conflict by obsessing over silly spats and flying in ex-lovers and suspicious parents to spring on the contestants. I think Harrison was behind a lot of that nonsense so maybe that will end.

  5. Golly Gee says:

    This will act as a beacon for all the investigative reporters out there to start sniffing around The Bachelor. Those involved will be watching their backs and consulting with their PR agents just in case.

  6. Cherie says:

    These shows are all trash — I know a local that was on Ink Master and this person couldn’t wait to get booted. Not only do they manufacture drama, they mess with the environment (hot, cold), time, running water etc….anything to set people on edge. I’ve always suspected the Bachelor and spin offs were cess pools of sexual abuse — anyone remember Rock of Love and Flava-flav? My skin still crawls.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I know someone who was on Ink Master too. He said much the same. And the misogyny that was encouraged was ridiculous.

  7. Esmom says:

    He’s “sad” to leave? Something tells me the $25 million he demanded will ease his pain a bit. JFC.

  8. lunchcoma says:

    There have been hundreds of people who’ve appeared on the franchise’s shows over the years, and reality shows do all kinds of things to make participants more inclined to argue and act strangely, the most obvious being providing lots of alcohol. I’m sure there’s a ton of bad behavior that’s been covered up.

    I don’t feel bad for anyone here. Harrison is a jerk, but the network employed him for decades and surely knew who they were dealing with.

  9. Amelie says:

    Someone above mentioned Mike Fleiss, the guy who created the show, and the rumors about him that he is an awful person and so sleazy. Chris of course knows all the dirt that goes on behind the scenes, he was an executive producer on the show and the face of it for nearly 20 years. If you’ve read Reality Steve’s columns, he has hinted that there is way more drama and shenanigans happening offscreen, with crew behaving inappropriately with contestants, manipulating events behind the scenes, and Lord knows what kind of sexual misconduct has gone on. However Reality Steve has never worked on the show, he just gets spoilers and juicy gossip from sources but he rarely shares juicy gossip apart from show spoilers because he hasn’t witnessed any of it firsthand and there isn’t much incentive for him to post about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris himself had hooked up with contestants on the show after he got divorced (or if that was the reason for his divorce!). It will be a bit strange not to see him on the show anymore, he’s been hosting it since I was in middle school!!! I grew up watching the show and him on it but I’m not nostalgic about it. But I have a feeling by next year there might not even be a Bachelor franchise, I think there is going to be a huge story from past contestants and crew about the truly awful conditions the show is filmed in at some point this year.

  10. Concern Fae says:

    Another issue is that these firings are often done on an appease social media timeline, not a take all the steps to make sure you can defend against this sort of lawsuit timeline. I’m also assuming that 20 years ago, they didn’t have the sorts of NDAs they do now, and when they were updated he was considered too powerful to be asked to sign an updated one.

    Watched one season of The Bachelorette the winter my husband left. It was fascinating. Those people might as well be from Mars. I’m sure the behind the scenes is far more interesting than the show. My ex was a good riddance situation BTW.

  11. letitbe says:

    The 25 million payoff is because he was told to get into the fight with Rachel Lindsay. Knowing the show he was probably fed the lines to say. I think the producers thought they needed to have a controversy to change it up a bit, and it just didn’t land the way they thought. Maybe it did though, and they wanted him out with a bang and they could change it up a bit. The format was a bit old now, and he was really the only thing they hadn’t tried to change. Think about it there really is no reason for that kind of payout. That’s my theory at least.

  12. guilty pleasures says:

    Don’t tell anyone, but I do watch this cesspool of a show. I also read the comments on Facebook from those lighting their hair on fire about how the franchise can’t survive without Chris Harrison and they ARE DONE WITH IT!! Then they invariably make racist comments they don’t even recognize as s racist. It’s so gross.
    I have asked a few times what he actually brings to the show, he says the exact same lines every damn show. He has no discernible talent. He’s just Every Guy.