New hosts for 'The Bachelorette' after racial controversy

FILE - In this April 29, 2018, file photo, Chris Harrison presents the award for outstanding entertainment talk show host at the Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, Calif. Harrison will not host the upcoming season of The Bachelorette following controversy over racially insensitive comments, and will instead be replaced with two former contestants, ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon said in a statement Friday, March 12, 2021. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this April 29, 2018, file photo, Chris Harrison presents the award for outstanding entertainment talk show host at the Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, Calif. Harrison will not host the upcoming season of The Bachelorette following controversy over racially insensitive comments, and will instead be replaced with two former contestants, ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon said in a statement Friday, March 12, 2021. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) (Invision)

Chris Harrison will not host the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette” following controversy over racially insensitive comments, and will instead be replaced with two former contestants, ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon said in a statement.

Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will pick up hosting duties for the show's next season, the statement issued late Friday said.

Harrison stepped down from hosting for “The Bachelor” in February following the controversy connected to an interview with “Extra.” He had defended “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after she was accused of racially insensitive past behavior. Past photos of her resurfaced in which she is dressed in costume as a Native American and at an antebellum plantation themed ball.

Harrison had defended Kirkconnell against what he called the “woke police” on social media during the interview. He later apologized for his comments, saying in a statement: “By excusing historical racism, I defended it.”

“We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing,” ABC and Warner Horizon said Friday's statement. “As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) representation of our crew.”

Kirkconnell has also apologized for what she called her past “racist and offensive” actions.