"In my opinion you don't get to just tell the fairytales," the 46-year-old host said in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America that aired Tuesday

By Dave Quinn
March 06, 2018 11:30 AM
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Warning: This post contains Bachelor spoilers.

Bachelor host Chris Harrison is standing by the show’s handling of its dramatic season 22 finale.

On Monday night, star Arie Luyendyk Jr. proposed to Becca Kufrin during the final rose ceremony in Peru only to call off their engagement weeks later, admitting he still had feelings for runner-up Lauren Burnham.

Fans slammed the long-running ABC show for shooting the awkward breakup with Kufrin, with one writing, “I hate Chris Harrison and The Bachelor producers and ABC for even filming this.”

Even former stars of the show spoke out. “How did this breakup end up on camera? Seems like a private conversation. We don’t belong in this conversation,” said Bachelor Ben Higgins. Added Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher, “STOP.FILMING.HER.”

But Harrison stood by the decision.

“There was no way Arie was going to do this and look great,” the 46-year-old host said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America that aired Tuesday, responding to the wave of criticism. “In my opinion, you don’t get to just tell the fairytales.”

“That was wild,” he added. “16 years of this and that was breathtaking. It’s going to take a little bit of time to process all of that even for myself.”

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE for this week’s issue (on newsstands Friday), Kufrin, 27, opened up about the cameras capturing her tear-filled heartbreak.

“There was a better and more tactful way to do it,” she added of getting dumped on national television. “A breakup is hard enough, and to have it all filmed and have to re-watch it and know that people all across the country are watching you get your heart broken, it is embarrassing. It’s not fun. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It was like a slap in the face.”

Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Becca Kufrin
ABC

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Kufrin also said that their breakup, which happened during a weekend trip to Los Angeles and was filmed for the show, came out of the blue.

“I never thought for a million years that once the going started to get tough that he would throw in the towel and jump ship and say, ‘Oh sorry, I changed my mind,’ ” said Kufrin. “I didn’t think we were at that point whatsoever.”

The live two-hour After the Final Rose special airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.