Matt James and Chris Harrison. Photo from Facebook.

Update: Chris Harrison shared a statement Tuesday via Instagram: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. 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.”

Chris Harrison has hosted his final season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” several outlets are reporting today. The Lake Highlands High School graduate will receive a multi-million dollar departure settlement “to keep his mouth shut,” Deadline reports.

Harrison announced a temporary break from the show in February after an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay discussing Rachael Kirkconnell, then a leading Bachelor contestant. Harrison created a stir when he defended Kirkconnell’s college participation in an Old South fraternity formal, which some labeled as racist. At the time, Kirkconnell was on the verge of being chosen by Matt James, the franchise’s first Black bachelor.

“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” Harrison said of Kirkconnell. “Because I have seen some stuff online – this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart.”

Lindsay and Harrison disagreed about whether Kirkconnell’s attendance at the plantation-themed party was “a good look.” Harrison later apologized for speaking too much and listening too little.

Deadline writer Dominic Patten says Harrison’s agreement with franchise producers and distributor Warner Horizon is expected to be announced later today. Harrison will take the reality show’s behind-the-scenes secrets straight to the bank.

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