Mike Johnson on Chris Harrison Controversy, Whether Bachelor Matt James Should Speak Out, and More
“Extra’s” Rachel Lindsay sat down with Mike Johnson on Zoom to talk about the controversy surrounding Chris Harrison’s recent comments to Lindsay about current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.
Rachel was the first Black Bachelorette and Mike was buzzed about as a possible first Black Bachelor, but Matt James was cast instead.
Harrison is on a break from the show, but appeared in a pre-recorded episode of “The Bachelor” Monday night. Mike said of when the show might address the controversy, “I feel within these next four weeks they will say something… It has to be addressed fully.”
Rachel said she found it refreshing that contestants, even current ones, are speaking out, and noted they are uniting and saying, “We don't stand for this, and we're disappointed by it.” Mike said, “I like that.”
Lindsay pointed out, “We've also seen some Black alums from past seasons come out, and they're suggesting that Chris should be permanently removed from the show. What do you think should happen?”
Mike said, “I have to commend the ladies that are currently on this show still who spoke out… But for them to do that shows that it's more important than anything else. And then they did it in such a way that you're not going to get mad at everybody, you know, and so I was really like, ‘Good move, ladies, good move, ladies.’ I was really, really happy for them.”
As for what he thinks should happen to Chris at this point, he said, “I think that when we cancel people, it's almost too easy. I feel that those individuals that have done something wrong need to say it with their chest, in other regards, as well. Once they've been educated and learn in a public forum in comparison to riding the waves with millions of dollars and just never to be heard from again… I don't want to cancel the individual, I want the individual to speak up, speak to their audience, and curb their mindset.”
He went on, “Let me speak direct — should the individual be removed from the Bachelor franchise? I think it's time for that. Should that individual be removed completely? No, because I think that individual has such a beautiful platform, it's such a beautiful privilege that we have to use it for good.”
Rachel, bringing up Matt James, said, “A person we really haven't heard from is Matt. Do you think Matt should speak out?”
Mike replied, “Yes, period.” He added, “The reason is because, again… when you have that platform, people listen to you… I think that as you're the lead of this show, people adore you and love you. And so therefore, especially during our historic season, in my assumption you, quite honestly, have to speak up for those that are voiceless.”
Mike’s also giving his take on the current season with Matt after he sent home fan favorites Monday night, narrowing it down to his final four. “I think it’s going to come down to Bri and Rachael.”