Rachel Lindsay, 36, is fearlessly speaking out about her disappointments with The Bachelor franchise in a new tell-all op-ed for New York Magazine, and one of them includes their bachelor pick in the 24th season of the show. The former contestant revealed that she was “livid” when she found out Peter Weber was chosen as the leading man on the reality series instead of Mike Johnson. Both men appeared on the 15th season of The Bachelorette but Rachel clearly had her favorite.
“In fall 2019, when they didn’t pick Mike Johnson, a contestant on season 15 of The Bachelorette, to be the next Bachelor, I was livid,” Rachel wrote in the op-ed. “He is a veteran, and there’s never been a veteran lead. He has got a million-dollar smile. He’s handsome. He was a fan favorite.”
“They chose someone with a pubescent haircut: Peter ‘Make Sure You Know I’m Half-Latino’ Weber,” she continued. “That was my breaking point. I was like, You know what? I’m going to use my platform to call out the show.”
Rachel, who was the first African-American Bachelorette on the show’s 13th season, then claimed that when she would speak out about her concerns, producers would reach out to her but she never saw any changes. “Every time I spoke out about the latest bullsh*t, producers would get in touch and say, ‘We understand your frustration. We’re trying to do better.’ But nothing would happen,” she shared. “I realized nobody but me was going to say anything. And I knew I could say these things with no repercussions — because what are you going to do to your first and only Black lady?”
In addition to her disappointment over Mike, Rachel wrote about her up and down experiences as the first Black lead on The Bachelorette as well as her time as a contestant on Nick Viall‘s season of The Bachelor. She also discussed former host Chris Harrison stepping away from the series after making controversial comments that led to a conversation about racism.
“I thought I could change The Bachelor franchise from within. Until I realized I was their token,” part of her op-ed read. She went on to say she’s “no longer making myself available to The Bachelor universe (though any contestant, past, future, or present, who needs my advice can call me). To the franchise, I am no longer a figurehead. I am no longer a spot-filler. I am no longer the face of what is diverse.”
“The goal for me was always to be that person until I could step away because the change had happened, and I could sit back and enjoy it,” she concluded.
After Rachel became the first African-American Bachelorette, Matt James became the first African-American Bachelor in season 25.