Chris Harrison Defends Clare Crawley's Bachelorette Departure Amid Backlash

"I just want to ask everybody to have a little bit of grace and understanding."

by Mary Kate McGrath
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While some members of Bachelor Nation aren't thrilled with the engagement, Chris Harrison defended Clare Crawley's Bachelorette departure, saying the star and Dale Moss "were head over heels in love." On Thursday, Dale proposed to Clare on The Bachelorette, just four episodes into Season 16. The two reality stars had a whirlwind romance over the course of the show, with Clare announcing, "I think I just met my husband," following Dale's entrance during the first week.

And yet, Clare has hinted that her early departure was less than the fairytale ending the show made it out to be. In October, the Bachelorette star liked a series of tweets suggesting the producers "were trying to force her out," as Vulture reported. The reality star has continued to like tweets suggesting that she received a bad edit and gave the other men more of a chance than the show made it out to seem.

On Friday, as a guest on The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous podcast, Harrison denied rumors that producers ousted Clare. "Clearly her head was not there anymore," he said. The Bachelor host clarified that none of the producers were mad at the star for meeting her perfect match. "We embraced it," Harrison added. "I sat down with her and said, 'Clare, my only issue is this isn't fair anymore. Let's just figure out what's going on with you and Dale. Let's stop the show.'"

Harrison also reiterated that the show was not disappointed in Clare's decision and that the series plans to keep up with the couple as the season progresses. "I just want to clear it up, at no point, was I disappointed in Clare. No point where any of us were disappointed," he said. "In fact, it was the contrary. We love you, we're here for you."

The podcast also gave the Bachelor host an opportunity to clear up skepticism about Dale and Clare's relationship, saying the two were committed to each other. He noted that the former NFL athlete had no hesitation about getting engaged on the show, saying, "When we proposed the idea of proposing, Dale said, 'I'm in, I love this girl.'" Clare and Dale have faced unexpected backlash from viewers following the proposal, and the host also stated that "nothing that Clare has done ... deserves anger and for her to be vilified." Harrison added, "Why are you mad that this woman found the love of her life and got engaged?"

Meanwhile, Clare has also defended the engagement amid backlash, saying she couldn't comprehend all the negativity and asking "how people can take that any other way than something that's beautiful," per People. Dale also vouched for the couple's powerful connection, stating, "I honestly just felt safe and secure and I just trusted her. I couldn't put my finger on it right away, but I just knew that she had me."

The Bachelorette continues with Tayshia Adams on Tuesday, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.