Former Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay said the “lack of diversity” in casting led to the show’s first Black leads choosing non-Black partners.
Rachel spoke out against the show’s casting and its lingering diversity issues during an episode of Ziwe, a Showtime variety show hosted by comedian Ziwe Fumudoh.
Her comments were in response to Ziwe addresing Rachel’s experience on the reality show.
He directly asked if she received any backlash for ending up with a white man as her final pick. “All three of the Black bachelors and bachelorettes have ended up with partners who are not of color,” Ziwe said.
He pointed out that Rachel, Bachelor star Matt James, and The Bachelorette’s Tayshia Adams, the only three Black leads in the franchise’s 33-season history, have all ended up with a white person.
Rachel would go on to marry her choice on the series, Bryan Abasolo in August 2019.
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Rachel addressed the issue
Rachel spoke about her worries heading into the show as the series’ first black female lead of The Bachelorette.
“It’s something I was worried about before I went on the show,” Lindsay said as reported by Insider.
“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,” she admitted.
“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,” Rachel revealed.
She further explained her frustration with some of the contestants
Rachel said she was dismayed when she learned the preference of some of the men of color she encountered on the series.
She had leared “several” of the Black men on her season “didn’t date Black women.”
This point was reportedly an “interesting” one to Bachelorette showrunners, she expalined.
Rachel responded to this by telling Ziwe she addressed the producers interest with the following response. “I said, ‘You think that’s interesting? That’s my life. I live that.'”
Rachel has held The Bachelor franchise accountable for the way it has handled race throughout its run on ABC.
She hypothetically held the show’s feet to the fire ahead of their casting of Matt James as the show’s first Black male lead.
Rachel addressed a racial issue with longtime franchise host Chris Harrison that put him in the hot seat after addressed the topic of cancel culture and the “woke police” in defense of former Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who was seen in antebellum-style clothing at a fraternity party while a student at college.
Chris would ultimately step back from the franchise due to these comments. He would later share an Instagram post where he apologized for his remarks and speaking “in a manner that perpetuates racism.”
The Bachelorette will debut its new season on June 7 at 8/7c on ABC.