“What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Later, he announced he was temporarily “stepping aside” from the franchise, which he has been a part of since its inception in 2002.
“The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” he shared. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”