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She also tells PEOPLE that she's "really excited to watch the After the Final Rose special" with Emmanuel Acho, who is stepping in as host after Chris Harrison announced he is “stepping aside”

By Ally Mauch
March 02, 2021 07:25 PM
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Serena Pitt is ready for Emmanuel Acho to step into Chris Harrison's shoes at the upcoming After the Final Rose special. 

The former Bachelor contestant, who decided to leave Matt James' season after the hometown visits, talked about the franchise's ongoing controversy during a recent appearance on PeopleTV. 

Harrison, 49, came under fire for his controversial Extra interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay last month. In the interview, Harrison weighed in on current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's resurfaced social media posts, which saw her dressed in Native American attire in costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. (Kirkconnell has since issued an apology and asked those defending her actions to "please stop.") 

For more on Chris Harrison's response to the backlash, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

Harrison received backlash for his failure to denounce Kirkconnell's behavior and apologized a day later before announcing he would be "stepping aside" from the franchise for an unspecified amount of time. Acho, the popular author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, will be taking his place at the After the Final Rose special next week. 

"I appreciate [Harrison] stepping aside to go do the work, to educate himself and to take the time to really work on that journey to becoming anti-racist," Pitt, 22, tells PeopleTV host Jeremy Parsons. "And I'm actually really excited to watch the After the Final Rose special hosted by Emmanuel." 

Pitt also weighed in on fellow contestant Kirkconnell. "It was definitely disappointing to see what came out about Rachael Kirkconnell," she says. 

"However, I read her statement and I watched her video and I really commend her for the way she's handled this," she continues. "I think everyone is just processing all of this, everyone is doing their best to both save their energy and protect themselves as well as speak out and not just ask but demand for change in the franchise."  

Serena P.
Serena Pitt
| Credit: Craig Sjodin via Getty

As for her departure from the show, Pitt says she "made the right decision," in saying goodbye to James, 29. 

"It was a hard decision but it was the right one for me at that time," she says. 

RELATED VIDEO: Serena Pitt Says She Is Still Confident in Her Decision to End Things with Matt James

Talking with Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, Pitt also opened up about whether she would ever be the Bachelorette. 

"I can see how this journey works. As much as it didn't work out for me this season, that's not to say that I'm not still looking for love and open to it and ready for it," she said. "If that opportunity was presented to me, I would definitely consider it."

Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison
| Credit: Eric McCandless/Getty Images

She added, however, that she would "struggle" with Harrison as the host given the recent controversy. 

"With the Bachelorette season being so soon ... I would struggle [with Chris as host], because the amount of work that needs to be done here," she told the outlet. "I would need to see the changes that have been happening in his life, and the actions that he has taken, and will be continuing to take moving forward, to feel comfortable welcoming him into the Bachelorette season."

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.