Matt James, Becca Kufrin and More Praise Emmanuel Acho as New After the Final Rose Host
On Saturday, two weeks after longtime host Chris Harrison announced that he would be "stepping aside for a period of time," ABC announced that Acho, 30, will be stepping in to discuss the outcome of the current season starring Matt James, the franchise's first Black lead.
"IT'S OFFICIAL: I've accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year," Acho, a former NFL player and bestselling author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, wrote on social media.
"It's been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. Share the news! I'll see y'all then!" he added.
James himself was one of the first to congratulate Acho on the news, commenting, "Looking forward to it."
"My brother," Acho wrote in reply. "I'll see you soon."
During the special, Acho will sit down with James to talk about the reality star's "season, his final decision and where he is now, as well as cover the current events about the franchise," according to a press release.
"My brother. We're family, thank u!" Ocho replied.
Prior to the news of Ocho's casting, Lindsay, The Bachelorette's first Black lead, deactivated her Instagram account due to the harassment she's received amid the ongoing controversy about how racism has been addressed within the Bachelor franchise.
In an interview with PEOPLE earlier this month, Lindsay and her husband previously suggested that Acho would be the "perfect person" to step in.
"[He's] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, 'I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.' Who better to lead it?" the former Bachelorette said. "[He's] someone who's not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias — I think it'd be great."
Added Abasolo, "I think it would really be a positive step forward."
RELATED VIDEO: Bachelor's Rachael Kirkconnell Urges People Defending Her Past Racist Actions to 'Please Stop'
Former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin showed support for Ocho as well on Saturday, writing, "Best news, so happy for you!"
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Earlier this month, Lindsay interviewed Harrison for Extra, and asked him about current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's resurfaced social media posts that showed racist behavior, including attending an Antebellum South-themed party and wearing Native American attire as a costume. (Kirkconnell has since issued an apology and earlier this week asked those defending her actions to "please stop.")
Harrison quickly received backlash for his failure to denounce Kirkconnell's acts of racism and apologized a couple of days later before announcing he will be "stepping aside" from the franchise for an unspecified amount of time.
The Bachelor: After the Final Rose will air on Monday, March 15 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC, immediately following the season finale of The Bachelor.