Rachel Lindsay Wants Bachelor Producers to Acknowledge the Show's Systemic Racism
UPDATE: Lindsay, along with franchise alums like Tyler Cameron, Nick Viall, and more, have signed a fan petition asking for more diversity and representation amid the Black Lives Matter movement. The petition, which has over 46,000 signatures at the time of writing, asks producers to cast a Black lead for the show's 25th season, and to cast Black, Indigenous, People of Color (“BIPOC”) for at least 35% of contestants each season hereafter.
Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay is calling for real change from the franchise that put her name in the headlines. In a new post on her blog, Lindsay calls on Bachelor and Bachelorette producers to acknowledge that they've engaged in systemic racism. Lindsay wants the franchise to "make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism," hire people of color to producer roles, and cast Bachelors, Bachelorettes, and their would-be suitors with more focus on diversity.
Lindsay is the only woman of color to have held the mantle of Bachelorette and Entertainment Tonight notes that she is the only Black lead in the show's history. In her post, Lindsay speaks on why she decided to go on the show and says that diversifying the show would also diversify the audience.
"I ultimately decided to be the Bachelorette because I knew this opportunity was bigger than me. I knew that I wanted to present myself to an audience that had not seen a lead of color in this role. I knew that I wanted to be a trailblazer in this franchise to diversify the lead role, to diversify the contestants trying out and casted for the show, and to diversify the audience watching this show," she wrote. "Well, I am sad to say that after almost four years in this franchise, we still don't have the diversity that this show needs, and that our audience deserves."
She also called out the show for casting people of color and adds that sometimes, the leads clearly do not show any interest in dating outside of their own race. Since its inception, The Bachelor has featured two non-white leads: 2014's lead, Juan Pablo Galavis, is Venezuelan, and 2020's Peter Weber is half Cuban.
"It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television," Lindsay added. "The sad reality is that people of color become placeholders as the token person of color to add some flavor to the second half of the season."
Lindsay wants the production team to officially acknowledge its shortcomings and had a few suggestions on how it could step up.
"1. Cast leads that are truly interested in dating outside of their race; 2. Stop making excuses for the lack of diversity and take action to rectify the problem," she wrote. "3. Diversify the producers on the show to make your contestants of color feel more comfortable; and 4. Stop creating problematic story lines for people of color."
For anyone looking for evidence of Lindsay's remarks, she calls on fans to watch the show's latest iteration, The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons Ever, which she insists will showcase everything that's wrong with the franchise.
"Only time will tell how the franchise will respond, but to date they have been silent. Until then, make sure you tune in on Mondays for all the white reasons to watch The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons Ever as it will weekly highlight the very thing that is wrong with this franchise," she finished.