Olumide Onajide appeared on The Bachelorette Season 18 with Michelle Young.
He recently addressed his experience with the show, specifically from the perspective of being a dark-skinned Black man.
Michelle Young’s season made history by having the first final four to ever consist solely of men of color.
Michelle and Nayte also become the second Black couple in The Bachelor franchise history to get engaged, following the since-broken up Bachelor in Paradise Season 7 couple Riley Christian and Maurissa Gunn.
While viewers celebrated these steps forward, there is also an awareness that the franchise still has a long way to go after a long and storied past of improperly handling diversity.
Olu experienced racially-charged and insensitive comments during his time on the show, and writer James R. Sanders wrote a full spread about Olu’s experience and The Bachelorette’s “Black agenda.”
Olumide Onajide featured in spread about the ‘Black agenda’ on The Bachelorette
The article written by James R. Sanders was titled The Bachelorette’s Black Agenda.
The tense rose ceremony where Olu was eliminated before making the final four was described, and it was noted how the final four were all biracial men with lighter complexions than Olu.
Sanders declared Olu’s presence on The Bachelor a victory even if he didn’t win Michelle Young’s final rose.
Olu also explained that he auditioned for The Bachelorette after feeling “tired of dating and not finding love.”
Speaking on the microaggressions Olu experienced on the show, the spread referenced when contestant Chris Sutton accused Olu of having a low IQ despite his many intellectual accomplishments.
There was also mention of The Bachelorette host Kaitlyn Bristowe who remarked, “he’s so scary,” when Olu confronted Chris about the IQ comments at the Men Tell All.
Sharing an example of the internet’s reaction to Kaitlyn’s words, a commenter was quoted calling her remark “disgusting” since Olu was not being threatening or aggressive.
Olumide Onajide opened up about being a dark-skinned man on television
When speaking about being a Black man on TV, Olu expressed that the experience “was scary because in this industry, we are not protected and I was aware of that. I knew it was a risk. Ultimately I knew as a Black man on TV it was my duty to represent and make my people look good.”
Olu concluded, “It was an honor. But make no mistake about it, Blacks are the most feared race in the world. It is a hidden type of genocide.”
In the spread, Olu was also asked about growing up and what he was taught about his complexion.
Olu shared that his parents taught him that his complexion was “a blessing and a curse. It is a curse because we are the most feared in the world and must work a hundred times harder than anyone else. It is a blessing because no one is more gifted, more talented, more announced than we.”
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.