Bachelor blogger Reality Steve disputes Thurston's account in a new spoiler post, claiming that Thurston was going to be the next Bachelorette until producers quickly decided to go a different direction once the season's controversies started to blow up. “Katie was originally going to be the Bachelorette, and once the shit hit the fan with the franchise the last couple weeks, the course of action changed, and they are now in discussions on who to go with. All I’ve heard is it won’t be Katie now," he wrote.
He also claimed that this change has affected the filming schedule, so “filming has been delayed about a week, so probably third week in March is when it will begin.”
After a particularly shocking Extra interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on February 9 in which Harrison defended current Bachelor frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions, the host apologized for his behaviour and eventually announced he'd be taking a "hiatus" from the franchise. Since then, Bachelor alums — particularly its few Black stars — have spoken publicly about the show's issues with diversity and failures when it has come to holding people accountable. "The show kind of shows what white privilege is in America," said Ivan Hall, from Tayshia Adams' season of The Bachelorette, in a recent interview.