It took until The Bachelorette season 13 for the ABC franchise to cast an African American lead in 2017. Now that lead Bachelor/Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, 35, is speaking out about how her show — as well as The Bachelor — are “white-washed.” Rachel initially appeared as a contestant on season 21 of The Bachelor competing for Nick Viall‘s heart, and is upset about how that show has yet to cast a Black male in the title role. She says that the franchise needs a “systematic change,” similar to what the U.S. is going through now with the racial injustice protests following George Floyd‘s horrifying police-custody death.
“It’s been asked of me, will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way. I can’t. I have to see some type of change. It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point, it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it,” Rachel explained during AfterBuzz TV’s Bachelor A.M. With Kelsey Meyer on June 5.
You can start at the 24:30 mark in this video below to hear Rachel’s comments about the show’s need for diversity:
When combining the 15 seasons of The Bachelorette and the yet to be cast 25th season of The Bachelor, Rachel observed, “In 40 seasons, you’ve had one black lead. We have had 45 presidents and in 45 presidents, you have one Black president,” she said, pointing to our 44th President Barack Obama, 58. “You are almost on par to say you’re more likely to become the president of the United States than you are a Black lead in this franchise. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous.”
Rachel continued, I’ve always been outspoken in my frustration about the need for diversity. Ever since I’ve been the lead, I’ve always spoken on that. But there’s certain things that I don’t speak out on that have frustrated me on the franchise. We don’t speak on the things that contestants do that are racist. And it bothers me that certain things have happened that we just say, ‘Oh, hush hush,’ and ‘Let’s just move on past it.’ No! We need to acknowledge it, because what you’re doing is perpetuating this type of behavior, you’re continuing to.”
Rachel then discussed how the U.S. is going through a major episode of change with so many people taking to the streets to participate in George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter rallies. “I don’t know how you are a part of The Bachelor franchise and you’re watching what’s happening in our country right now and you don’t self reflect that you’ve been part of the problem,” she explained. “You continue to perpetuate this type of behavior when you’re putting out something that is very white-washed and doesn’t have any type of color in it and you’re not trying to be effective and change that. So I think that they have to, at this point, give us a Black Bachelor for season 25. You have to. I don’t know how you don’t.” HollywoodLife.com reached out to ABC and the producers of The Bachelor/Bachelorette and so far they have not responded on what Rachel had to say.