While The Bachelor is a widely beloved show, it's also a widely criticized show — not least for its lack of diversity over the years. As the killing of George Floyd continues to inspire anti-racism protests all over the country (and other parts of the world), racial inequality within the franchise is getting even more attention. So much so, in fact, a new group has formed to call for change in Bachelor Nation. The Bachelor Diversity Campaign, which launched with a petition demanding changes, has very specific concerns regarding the ABC franchise.
The new campaign was brought to social media on June 8. According to an email statement from the campaign to Elite Daily, "the effort was started by 12 diverse fans who united in a Bachelor fan group with the shared mission to increase BIPOC representation within the Bachelor franchise." The effort is meant to bring attention to responsibility that the franchise's leaders have to promote equal representation onscreen and behind the scenes. According to a press release from the campaign, "ABC and Warner Bros. have an opportunity and responsibility to feature Black, Indigenous, People of Color (“BIPOC”) relationships, families, and storylines."
The campaign consists of a social media push from influencers and fans to "build awareness such that ABC and Warner Bros. acknowledge the power of the Bachelor franchise’s platform, and act on their responsibility to impact change through pop culture," as well as a Change.org petition. The campaign listed its demands for the franchise on its Instagram Story; you can also check them out below:
- Cast a Black Bachelor for Season 25
- Make sure at least 35% of contestants each season are BIPOC
- Give equitable screen time to everyone, including BIPOC contestants
- Provide mental health resources to BIPOC contestants to help them navigate their Bachelor experiences
- Bring more BIPOC people on set, and pay them equitably
- Vet contestants to ensure they haven't promoted prejudice in the past
- Bring on a diversity consultant to help with producing, casting, and filming
- Create a zero-tolerance policy for racism on the show
- Provide the audience with anti-racism resources
- Feature BIPOC storylines
- Ensure no indigenous cultures are exploited or used to perpetuate hurtful stereotypes
- Donate to anti-racism causes
- Apologize for lack of diversity on the show thus far and for facilitating systemic racism, and outlining an anti-racism plan moving forward
The campaign also calls for fans to take action in the following ways:
- Take a zero-tolerance policy against racism in all aspects of life
- Speak up when BIPOC franchise contestants are treated poorly
- When BIPOC contestants share their experiences and talk about ways fans can help, listen
- Understand that who fans support can influence producers' decisions (such as casting)
- Recognize that anti-racism is an ongoing effort that takes work
In the few hours since the Bachelor Diversity Campaign was announced on social media, many members of Bachelor Nation have shared their support for it. Tyler Cameron, Bibiana Julian, Rachel Lindsay, Dustin Kendrick, Olivia Caridi, Onyeka Ehie, Devin Harris, and Alayah Benavidez are just a handful of the franchise's stars who have shared posts about the movement to their Instagrams.
Fans can sign The Bachelor Diversity Campaign's petition here.
Additional reporting by Lexi Williams