Chris Harrison, the host of The Bachelor, appeared on Good Morning America today, and told Michael Strahan that his leave from the show isn’t necessarily a permanent exit. He also spoke about the controversy that caused him to take a leave of absence.

In his first interview since stepping back from the franchise, Harrison said, “I plan to be back. I want to be back. This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done.”

Last month, 49-year-old Harrison stepped away from his duties on the dating competition show following a controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay, the first black “Bachelorette” on Extra.

During the interview, Harrison defended current contestant of The Bachelor Rachael Kirkconnell’s participation in an “Old South” plantation-themed college party in 2018. When speaking about the event that glorified the Antebellum era, Harrison asked, “Is it [not] a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021?”

To which Lindsay retorted, “It’s not a good look ever, cause she’s celebrating the Old South. If I went to that party, what would I represent at that party?”

On Good Morning America he told Michael Straham, “I am an imperfect man; I made a mistake and I own that. I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to the progress not just for myself also for the franchise.”

Harrison said he is working with race educator Dr. Eric Dyson, mentioning Dyson’s teachings of “counsel, not cancel.”

Following the interview, Strahan clearly doubted Harrison’s sincerity, saying, “His apology is his apology, but I felt like I got nothing more than a surface response. He is a man who clearly, wants to stay on the show, but only time will tell if there is any meaning behind his words.

ABC, which airs both The Bachelor and Good Morning America hasn’t revealed whether Harrison’s leave from the show will be permanent. He has been replaced by former NFL player Emmanuel Acho as host of the upcoming After the Final Rose live special, which airs after the season finale.

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