The Bachelor has a lot going for it, but fans aren't happy with every aspect of the long-running franchise. For years, the dating-show empire has been criticized for its lack of representation — specifically, for people of color. Recently, one of the most prominent members of Bachelor Nation spoke up about this topic; Chris Harrison's quotes about diversity in Bachelor Nation address the issue head-on.
It shouldn't come as a surprise this is a common critique of the franchise. Rachel Lindsay, who starred as the Bachelorette in 2017, remains the only black lead the franchise has ever had. Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Galavis is the only Latinx lead in Bachelor history. On the contestant side, white people outnumber people of color in every season.
Radio host Bevy Smith broached this topic with Harrison on her radio show on May 5. "Now we have diversity in age, but you guys have had a lot of problem with diversity when it comes to race ... How can we get this fixed?" she asked.
Harrison acknowledged the lack of representation began early on in the franchise's history, when more white people where auditioning for The Bachelor.
What we realized is if you don’t see yourself represented — no matter if it is on TV or in a club or whatever — you’re probably not going to want to attend. You’re not going to feel comfortable. So we had to take that first step, and we have done better at casting and putting more diverse people on the show, therefore you see yourself represented more. Again, I think it takes a long time to turn around a big boat. We needed to take that step and I think we’ve done much better in the last few seasons for sure. We’ll continue to do that.”
Overall, Harrison seemed hopeful about the direction the franchise is moving when it comes to diversity. "At the end of the day, I'm not really as worried about meeting a quota as I am about meeting a quota of quality people," he also mentioned.
He also spoke on upcoming Bachelorette Clare Crawley's season, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus. "I want Clare to have a broad spectrum, but a broad spectrum of really good men and quality people," he explained. Harrison announced earlier this year producers were still looking for men to cast for Crawley's upcoming season, so perhaps a more diverse cast will make its way to the franchise soon.