Hoping things change. Although Rachel Lindsay is proud that the Bachelor franchise finally has cast a black lead for the upcoming season of 25, there is still a lot of work to be done, she explained during Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Wednesday, June 19.
“I did have a racist contestant on my season,” Lindsay, 35, told host Andy Cohen, but did not want to reveal who she was referring to. She noted that producers “didn’t do a good job of vetting out” the man, but hopes that things change.
“[It’s] one of the things that I’m fighting for for Matt James as the first Black Bachelor, for them to do a better job at vetting contestants,” the lawyer stated. “You need a person of color in the decision room making decisions so that doesn’t happen to them.”
The Bachelor alum, who married the winner of her season, Bryan Abasolo, in 2019, also revealed that she dealt with racism after the season aired.
“From the audience. I definitely experienced it,” the Texas native said. “More so when it came to picking the men, and then at the end, my husband is Colombian, so I got a lot of racism towards the fact that we were in an interracial relationship. Just a lot of nasty messages, trolling.”
Shortly after James, 28, was announced as the first black Bachelor on Friday, June 12, Lindsay spoke out about the casting.
“I was hoping when I came on to be a trailblazer for that and to increase diversity in the audience that watches it. But in the last three years, there really haven’t been changes made,” the reality TV personality said on Good Morning America. “I want producers of color. I’d like for them to cast leads that are interested in dating outside of their race that aren’t just getting their first-time experience — for the first time — on national TV.”
She continued by asking that she wanted “acknowledgment” from the network, “not putting a Band-Aid over the situation and just saying, ‘Here, we’re going to put this here. Are you happy now?’”
Later that day, the franchise’s executive producers spoke out for the first time following the complaints.
“We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward,” the statement read. “We are taking positive steps to expand diversity in our cast, in our staff, and most importantly, in the relationships that we show on television. We can and will do better to reflect the world around us and show all of its beautiful love stories.”Listen on Spotify to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants.
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