Eric Bigger: How to Improve 'The Bachelor' Without Canceling Chris Harrison

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    As Chris Harrison’s role in Bachelor Nation remains up the air, Eric Bigger opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about the future of the franchise.

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    “I love Chris Harrison. … I know him personally, he’s a great individual,” the 33-year-old Bachelorette alum began on Us’ “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast on Tuesday, April 6. “We all fall short at times; we all make mistakes. No one’s perfect. I think, in that moment, he made a big mistake, he messed up. You know, if I saw him today, and I had the conversation, [I’d say], like, ‘You made a mistake, buddy, it’s OK.’”

    Back in February, Harrison, 49, came under fire for defending Matt James’ front-runner (and eventual winner) Rachael Kirkconnell over her past racially insensitive actions during an interview with Rachel Lindsay. He subsequently didn’t host James’ After the Final Rose, during which fans learned the former football player, 29, and Kirkconnell, 24, split amid the controversy.

    “There’s consequences and there’s a cause and effect for everything and I believe Chris Harrison should be suspended and he should have some time off,” Bigger continued. “And he should kind of, like, rethink and maybe educate himself in some ways and do some work and, you know, build some time with thyself. But I don’t think he should be canceled. Come on, like, we’re not even being real, right? So, you’re telling me no one can show up and be a person and make mistakes?”

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    Bigger added that fans would benefit from seeing “an open conversation” with Harrison and Lindsay, 35.

    “I think Chris Harrison is a decent human being. I think if he’s open and he’s willing, and Rachel and whoever else wants to get involved, I think he should have a discussion and talk about what was done,” he said. “I’m all about solutions. I’m not into recreating narratives.”

    As for moving forward, Bigger noted that the franchise should update the casting process — and get tips from past contestants.

    “They should get everybody’s feedback from past seasons and see what they think they should do,” he said. “There should be [questions like], ‘Have you dealt with racism? How do you feel about being whatever ethnic group you are?’ I think there should be more detailed, like, questionnaires and conversations [during the casting process].”

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    Bigger continued: “Also, I think if you’re going to have a diverse cast, the people in the behind-the-scenes should be diverse as well. Because you want them to relate and understand. And here’s the thing, they can do what they want, it’s their show, it’s their platform. … It’s a business at the end of the day. And if my business generates revenue from a certain demographic that makes sense for my audience, then that’s what it is. But if you’re going to intervene and add different people into your network or your platform, you got to be aware, you got to be conscious [and] you’ve got to know what you’re up against.”

    For more from Bigger, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

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