Katie Thurston hesitatingly accepted leading season 17 of the American reality TV show The Bachelorette, as replacement for Chris Harrison.
Host Chris Harrison stepped down from the show after being surrounded by controversy for protecting the insensitive and racist remarks of a contestant on the show. Harrison publicly apologized for defending the racist action and decided to exit from the show until the voices died down.
Katie Thurston was offered to take the lead for season 17, but she was uncertain to come on board with the background controversy surrounding Chris’s exit from the show.
She expressed her doubts in her interview with The Hollywood Reporter and said, “You’re always going to question if it’s the right decision for you because you are opening yourself up to a lot of attention; attention that you might not want. It’s tough to be in this role."
She did not actually leap at the offer and said, “So of course it wasn’t an immediate yes for me. It was something I had to think about over time. I didn’t want to live life with the regret of not taking this chance to fall in love in this very unique way, so I said yes."
Katie was glad to be supported by alums like Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe and said, "[Tayshia and Kaitlyn] have advice that they could give me that no other woman could. It was great to have women supporting women and have these great conversations throughout the entire process from start to finish."
The show debuted in 2003 and aired on ABC. It was created by Mike Fleiss, and produced by Elan Gale.