As wider conversations about race and representation continue following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, Rachel Lindsay is getting real about being the first and only Black lead in the "whitewashed" Bachelor franchise. In a recent interview, the Bachelorette alum opened up about the Black Lives Matter movement and the ABC reality show's failure to cast enough contestants of color — and Rachel Lindsay’s quotes about The Bachelor’s lack of racial diversity don't hold back about potentially ending her affiliation with the "embarrassing" franchise. Elite Daily reached out to ABC for comment on Lindsay's interview, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The 18-year-old franchise's only lead of color, who has been outspoken about The Bachelor's diversity issues in the past, now says she is ready to sever ties with the reality show if things don't change.
During a June 5 interview with Afterbuzz, the attorney applauded the recent momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement while critiquing The Bachelor's family of shows for failing to reflect the country's racial makeup with its cast. Calling the divide "very frustrating," she said, "If we’re going around talking about Black Lives Matter and what's important… well, then let’s talk about systemic change when it comes to The Bachelor franchise."
Lindsay contrasted the casting process to the presidency, saying, "In 40 seasons, you’ve had one Black lead. We are on 45 presidents. And in 45 presidents there’s been one Black president. 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."
"When you're putting out something that is very whitewashed and doesn't have any type of color in it and you're not trying to be effective and change that... I think that they have to at this point, give us a Black Bachelor for season 25. I don't know how you don't," she said, adding that she will cut ties with the franchise if she doesn't see some change.
"It’s been asked of me, will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way," she continued. "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."
Lindsay has previously shared how she'd personally change the casting process, saying she'd cast "women of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities."
"The girls all look the same way,” she said during a September 2019 interview with the Associated Press. "My first reaction to when somebody said 'You should be on The Bachelor,' I said 'Black people don’t go far on that show.' We laughed about it but it’s actually true."
ABC has yet to respond to Lindsay's critiques of the franchise's racial diversity, so only time will tell whether it decides to take her suggestions on board and give viewers a more diverse cast — and a leading man of color — in the coming seasons.