Chris Harrison officially completes “The Bachelor” franchise after nearly 20 years – and reportedly is looking for a golden parachute that might get top eight characters.
The longtime host is out after defending contestant behavior Rachael Kirkconnell – who was widely condemned as racially insensitive – in an interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, who became the first black lead for the 2017 franchise.
Rumors circulated that Harrison was after it was revealed that David Spade will host this summer’s “Bachelor in Paradise” ̵
The outlet added that the host “threatened to spill all of the franchise’s dirty secrets if he did not get it,” even though the reported settlement is believed to be less than $ 25 million.
ABC did not respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.
Bryan Sullivan, a lawyer at law firm Early Sullivan, told Yahoo Finance that the potential for a high payout is likely centered around Harrison’s contract and how many years were still left of the deal. In addition, there is the issue of a moral clause – a legal component that is often vague in nature.
“It is probably doubtful whether [his comments] was enough to actually trigger the right to resign in a way that was clear and obvious, “Sullivan said. He explained that studies are always more likely to settle in cases like these rather than going to court.
“It’s all done as a cost-benefit analysis,” he explained, adding that high attorneys’ fees, witness collection and litigation are often not worth the time, effort or money.
An attempt to sue “opens a can of worms, which when open you can not close it and who knows what would be revealed during that time,” Sullivan said. In addition to all the risks, the study would still “have a decent chance of losing” and warned: “No one ever has a 100% chance of winning.”
On Tuesday, Harrison posted a brief statement on Instagram, writing in part, “I am so grateful to the Bachelor Nation for all the memories we have made together.”
Sullivan said it is unlikely Harrison will continue to reveal any behind-the-scenes secrets at this time, noting that settlements like these typically include a confidentiality provision – which “is not an exception, but usually the rule.”
Celebrities securing fat pay days after controversial layoffs are not a new concept. Megyn Kelly, who was jettisoned by NBC in 2018 after submitting on-air comments in defense of blackface, still received the full $ 69 million that her original three-year contract had stipulated. It closed the possibility of a protracted legal battle.
“There will always be a compulsion from the studio to pay something to make it go away,” LA-based law attorney Sean Andrade told Yahoo Finance earlier.
On Monday, “The Bachelorette” returned to ABC on Monday for the first time without Harrison. The Season 17 premiere topped Monday’s ratings, but was still the lowest premiere in the series’ history – it received only 3.59 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, according to early Nielsen Live + Same Day figures.
By comparison, the last “Bachelorette” premiere, which debuted in October 2020, saw 4.76 million viewers and received a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
Alexandra is a producer and entertainment correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193