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Rachel Lindsay is speaking out after Chris Harrison's Bachelor franchise exit.The 36-year-old former Bachelorettebroke her silence on the TV host's departure, expressing that she was not expecting him to leave the longtime-running hit shows."I gotta say, I am [shocked]. I wasn't expecting for it to happen, not after the announcement," Lindsay said on Tuesday's episode of Extra.Harrison's controversy began when he defended eventual Bachelor winner Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions, encouraging people to offer her "grace," and speaking out against the "woke police" during an interview with Lindsay. Harrison was with the franchise for nearly two decades, but stepped away from it in February after he received backlash. Harrison apologized to Lindsay, as well as to those who he offended.When asked what were the prevailing additional factors to his eventful exit, Lindsay said, "We can only speculate.""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," she continued. "I think that, coupled with the interview that happened on this very stage, maybe led to him not coming back."In March, Harrison told Good Morning America that he planned "to be back and I want to be back." However, a source told ET that Harrison negotiated a mid-eight figure deal to exit the franchise."It's been 19 years and if you do watch the show we saw less and less of Chris. Nineteen years is a big accomplishment. Maybe that's the case. We don't know. Maybe they were ready to move on," Lindsay expressed. "Maybe Chris wanted to move on after all this."Chris Harrison’s Race Counselor Speaks Out About Their ‘Tremendous Conversations’ (Exclusive)This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.Chris Harrison’s Race Counselor Speaks Out About Their ‘Tremendous Conversations’ (Exclusive)Lindsay said she still accepted Harrison's apology to her, "Last time we sat and talked I said that I accepted Chris' apology and I still stand by that. I do, I think that's the way to move forward."On Tuesday, after news broke of Harrison's exit, he took to social media to speak out."I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter," he wrote. "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."Meanwhile, in a statement to ET on behalf of The Bachelor franchise, Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said, "Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey."ET previously reported that negotiations over Harrison's exit had been underway for a while, before they concluded late Monday night.  See more in the video belowChris Harrison Exits 'Bachelor' Franchise Following Racism ControversyThis video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page. RELATED CONTENT:Bachelor Nation Alums React to Chris Harrison's Franchise ExitChris Harrison Speaks Out After 'Bachelor' Franchise ExitChris Harrison Exits 'Bachelor' Franchise Following Racism Controversy 

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Chris Harrison has exited the Bachelor franchise after 19 years. The longtime host, who has been with the franchise since the 2002 premiere of The Bachelor, is permanently departing from the reality staple, following his racism controversy, ET can confirm.ET has learned that negotiations over Harrison's exit have been underway for awhile, and concluded late Monday night.  Despite telling Good Morning America in March, "I plan to be back and I want to be back," in regard to the franchise, Harrison negotiated a mid-eight figure deal to exit it, a source tells ET. Deadline was the first to report the news.ET has reached out to Harrison, ABC and Warner Bros. for comment.Harrison's controversy began when he defended eventual Bachelor winner Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions, encouraging people to offer her "grace," and speaking out against the "woke police" during an interview with Rachel Lindsay. Kirkconnell's past actions came to light in January, when a TikTok user accused the graphic designer of previously bullying her for dating Black men. Then, another user accused Kirkconnell of liking racist photos. Pics have also surfaced of Kirkconnell at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. Kirkconnell has since apologized and asked people to stop defending her actions.During his interview with Lindsay, Harrison questioned whether the Old South party and Kirkconnell's presence at it was only viewed as wrong now, because of the racial reckoning over the past year. "I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago," Harrison said, before Lindsay shared that the photos were taken in 2018, just three years ago. "Is it [not] a good look in 2018? Or is it not a good look in 2021?" he replied. "Because there’s a big difference."After facing backlash for his comments made during the interview, Harrison apologized for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism." In February, amid ongoing criticism from fans and contestants, Harrison released a second statement, sharing that he would not be hosting the After the Final Rose special for Matt James' season of the show, which was airing at the time."My ignorance did damage to my friend, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke," Harrison wrote in part. "By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable. I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong."In his March GMA interview, Harrison categorized his comments as "a mistake.""I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that," he said. "I believe that mistake doesn't reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise." Shortly thereafter, ABC announced that former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams would step in to host Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette, which premiered Monday.Earlier this month, a source told ET that Harrison likewise would not be hosting the next season of Bachelor in Paradise. The source said that, in Harrison's place, there will be multiple celebrity guest hosts, including David Spade. The source added that there is speculation that other comedians might guest host as well.As for Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette, ET has learned that there are no decisions yet on who will host. In the meantime, ET has learned, producers are still focused on casting celebrity guest hosts for Bachelor in Paradise, as it's set to begin filming later this month.RELATED CONTENT: Chris Harrison Will Not Host 'Bachelor in Paradise,' David Spade Stepping In (Source)This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.Chris Harrison Not Hosting 'Bachelor In Paradise' Season 7Tayshia Adams Talks Hosting 'The Bachelorette' With Kaitlyn BristoweChris Harrison Not Returning as 'Bachelorette' Host Next Season