Using her voice — and providing options. Rachel Lindsay, the only black lead on The Bachelor franchise since its 2002 debut, has opened up further about the diversity issue.
“Recently, I have received many questions regarding the headlines stating that I will leave the Bachelor franchise if changes to address the lack of diversity in lead roles are not established,” the lawyer, 35, began a new blog post shared on Monday, June 8. Her blog comes days after she revealed on multiple podcasts that it’s “embarrassing to be affiliated with” the franchise.Rachel Lindsay's Most Critical Quotes About the ‘Bachelor' Franchise
“Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their ‘journey’ takes them during each season,” the season 13 Bachelorette wrote. “It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television. 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.”
In her article, she listed the many times she’s called out the franchise and stated that her being vocal hasn’t changed anything.
“I still feel that I have not been loud enough on the deep-rooted, 18-year systemic problems in this franchise. You never want to bite the hand that feeds you, but you also do not want to be aiding and abetting problematic behavior,” the Texas native said. “I am affiliated with this franchise and to be silent on some matters is to still be complicit with these cycles of detrimental conduct. If you saw your brother or sister continually doing something wrong would you not hold them accountable? This is the reason that I have come to the conclusion that if changes are not made on the inside and outside of the franchise, I will dissociate myself from it. I am tired of asking for change and my requests have been ineffective. These changes have to extend beyond casting a lead of color. The whole franchise needs a diversity makeover.”Bachelor Nation Couples Who Are Still Going Strong
Lindsay then went on to list the ways the franchise can change: “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. 3. Diversify the producers on the show to make your contestants of color feel more comfortable. 4. Stop creating problematic story lines for people of color.”
Lastly, she noted, they need to speak up.
“The franchise should make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism. The system is not designed for people of color,” the Bachelor alum stated. “This is not a shocking or groundbreaking statement when the creator of the show admitted that my season's lower ratings ‘revealed something about our fans’ and furthermore concluded that it was ‘incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way.'”Former 'Bachelor' and 'Bachelorette' Leads: Where Are They Now
The “Higher Learning” podcast host ended her post with an important message: “If the National Football League, an organization notoriously known for not standing behind their athletes of color, can come out to make a statement to condemn racism and their systemic oppression and admit they were wrong for not listening in the past, then the Bachelor franchise can most certainly follow suit. 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.”