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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Alexandra Del Rosario

Chris Harrison says narcissists don't star in 'The Bachelor.' They create it

According to former "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison, stars of the franchise were rarely narcissists. But the same can't be said for the series creator.

On Sunday's episode of his "The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever," Harrison joined former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Meghan King for a far-ranging conversation about how narcissism plays into parenthood and relationships.

After recalling her love life and speaking about her children, King asked Harrison if he has encountered any narcissists among the contestants of the long-running ABC series. He replied: "The creator of the show was — severely."

Harrison continued: "One of the toughest things about narcissism is you will never — I don't want to say never — but very rarely, will that person ever recognize that in themselves."

Harrison did not name the "Bachelor" creator, though he's likely referring to Mike Fleiss. The former host's comments come weeks after Fleiss announced his "Bachelor" exit amid allegations of racial discrimination.

During Harrison's 19-year tenure — which came to an abrupt end in 2021 after he defended a contestant's previous racist behavior — he worked under Fleiss, who also executive produced the "Bachelor" franchise.

Sources close to the franchise told the L.A. Times earlier this month that a more thorough response is currently underway to issues of diversity and cultural sensitivity.

Earlier in the podcast, Harrison said people's narcissism "usually comes from fragility" and "something traumatic in their lives."

After news of Fleiss' exit broke on March 28, Harrison said in his podcast that he found his former boss' departure "very surprising."

"There are obviously a lot of things I know and I just can't say. But there are a lot of things that make you go, 'hmm,'" he said in a two-part episode. "I can definitely say more will come out."

After taking a dig at Fleiss on Sunday's episode, Harrison returned to King's question and said narcissism has no place in "how you get to be the Bachelor."

"You have to be open, you have to be unlucky in love, you have to be ready to express yourself," he said. "Narcissists really wouldn't work very well."


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