Chris Harrison is speaking out about his exit from The Bachelor franchise in 2021.

During a recent chat with Bachelorette alum, Jason Tartick, Harrison explained that he was "grateful" he left the show when he did as it had become a "very toxic situation."

He exited the series after 19 seasons after coming under fire for defending Bachelor Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell when photos resurfaced online of her attending a “plantation-themed” sorority party in 2018.

"What I went through was tumultuous. I don’t wish it on anybody. It was horrifying on a lot of levels — and something that I pray to God my worst enemy never goes through," he told Tartick on his podcast "Trading Secrets". "But, with that said, I knew I had to remove myself from what became a very toxic situation."

Harrison called the controversy a "difficult situation," noting that he "probably could have figured it out."

"We all could have figured it out, but I had to remove myself from that toxic situation. And so I'm proud of that decision," he explained. "I’m proud that I handled it the way I did and I still look at [the show] as a blessing because it changed my life on so many levels. Financially, of course. It changed my life. It changed my kids' lives."

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He also denied any chance of returning to the dating reality series in the future and suggested that it has started “going downhill” following his departure.

Harrison issued multiple apologies after the controversy, and was ultimately replaced by Jesse Palmer.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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