Emmanuel Acho will host the upcoming The Bachelor: After the Final Rose one-hour special, replacing longtime The Bachelor host Chris Harrison.
“It’s both an honor and privilege to be hosting ‘After the Final Rose.’ This is an incredibly pivotal episode on one of the most storied shows in television history,” Acho said in a statement from ABC.
Acho replaces Harrison amidst controversy surrounding the longtime host and his handling of a contestant’s past racist behavior. As a result, Harrison decided to step aside for the time being.
For the first time, the show features a black bachelor, Matt James. According to Awful Announcing, one of the women vying for bachelor Matt James, Rachael Kirkconnell, was photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity party in 2018. Harrison initially defended Kirkconnell and tried to downplay the racial context of the photos, but his comments rang tone-deaf with many.
Acho will return to the Disney family after leaving ESPN in 2020 for Fox Sports 1 where he is a co-host on Speak for Yourself.
The former NFL player is also an author and host of the YouTube series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” which is self-described as “a safe place to have the uncomfortable conversations about race that many white people have never been able to have.”
Awful Announcing also notes that this “might be what makes him an ideal host for the special, given the fraught racial conversations and controversies that have been taking place around the ABC show this season.”