Chris Harrison Defends Decision to Air Eric Hill’s Death Announcement
Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group    

The Bachelorette

Chris Harrison Defends Decision to Air Eric Hill’s Death Announcement

If you tuned in for the fun of Hometown Dates on The Bachelorette Season 10 last night, you may have been sideswiped by the heartbreaking moment that closed out the episode. Andi Dorfman and her remaining four suitors were called into Chris Harrison’s home the night before the rose ceremony and told on-camera that Eric Hill had passed away after a paragliding accident. Needless to say, the resulting scenes were tough to watch, and it got people talking about whether the show handled things correctly.

For most (at least according to our poll), the producers were respectful and honest. However, there’s still a large contingent who believe that showing the guys and Andi weeping over their castmate's death was somewhat exploitative. And to those, Chris Harrison wanted to offer some explanation in his Entertainment Weekly blog.

“There were those who didn’t think we should shoot it at all and not include this news. I vehemently disagreed,” Chris began. “I thought we should not only shoot it, but felt we should include it on this show for you to see as well. I knew this was going to be a brutally sad moment for all of us, but that’s why I felt so strongly we should show it.”

The Bachelor/ette host then elaborated that with how much the loss was going to affect the cast and crew, they had show it on air, just as they’ve always done on the show. “For 13 years we’ve built this franchise by showing you everything that happens, whether it’s good, bad, dramatic, or sad. I just didn’t see how all of a sudden because something so tragic affected all of us that we just wouldn’t show it; it didn’t make sense.”

In other words, Chris felt that if they didn’t show the audience that moment, it would appear that they were just acting like it didn’t happen, which would be “horribly dishonest and disrespectful.”

“I don’t believe we get to choose in life what we get to deal with and what we don’t,” the host continues. “I don’t believe you get to just act like things didn’t happen because it’s uncomfortable or sad. You have to take the good with the bad in life.”

Though Chris still backs his (and the production team’s) decision to show the entire upsetting moment, he does understand that people will be uncomfortable with it. “I know we all look at death and tragic events in life differently, so I appreciate the fact that there will be many opinions about this episode. I will read them all and take them in as best I can,” he finishes.

Whatever your feelings, we have to send our thoughts and prayers to Eric’s family, as well as Andi and the cast and crew. It wasn’t easy to watch, but we can’t even imagine going through that all.

Do you think ABC handled the tragedy well? What do you think of Chris’s explanation? Share in the comments below.

Source: Chris Harrison’s EW blog