It’s no secret The Bachelor franchise has had some serious issues with diversity — long before the Rachael Kirkconnell scandal even happened. And while ABC attempted to somewhat fix this by casting Rachel Lindsay as the first Black Bachelorette in 2017, the 36-year-old had difficulties with some of the Black men who, apparently, were purposefully cast because they didn’t like to date Black women.
During a recent appearance on Ziwe Fumudoh’s variety show, the former attorney further opened up about the dating show’s diversity issues. The comedian first asked if she ever faced backlash for ending up with her fiancé, Bryan Abasolo:
“All three of the Black Bachelors and Bachelorettes have ended up with partners who are not of color.”
To which Rachel replied:
“It’s something I was worried about before I went on the show…I think I got a little bit more grace because I was the first, and people were just excited that a person of color was in this role.”
Rachel also noticed a pattern with the leads of color and who they chose in the end, saying:
“I think when the next person chose someone that wasn’t Black, and then by the time we got to the third one, it was like, ‘You know what they’re just not going to choose anybody that’s Black.’”
In terms of the heat the show has recently faced, the reality star said it shows “how unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren’t.” She also recognized how it all comes down to “a casting issue” and lack of representation behind the scenes. It’s something Rachel has even witnessed firsthand on her season, explaining:
“There was a point where I broke down on camera, and they used my tears for something else, but I was getting upset at the selection of men of color. I also learned as I was going through my season that several of the Black men on my season didn’t date Black women.”
And when Ziwe asked her to analyze that last statement, she responded:
“The show found it interesting. ‘Wow, this guy’s never dated a Black woman before.’ And I said, ‘You think that’s interesting. That’s my life. I live that.’ That’s why I’m speaking out that you don’t need to diversify just your cast and your leads. You need to diversify the people behind the camera.”
This is just yet another messed up move from the producers.
Over the years, the Dallas native has been outspoken about wanting to see some changes made within the franchise — especially after Chris Harrison’s awful behavior when defending Kirkconnell’s antebellum photos. However, Lindsay recently announced how she plans to leave the series for good once her contract is done and has since stepped away from the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast. And we can understand the desire to do so after fighting for years against the racism plaguing Bachelor nation, only for producers to seemingly ignore it.
What are your reactions to Rachel’s suggestion that the franchise purposefully featured Black men who never dated Black women? Let us know in the comments (below).
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