Speaking her mind! Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay may have broken barriers when she became the first African American lead on the show in 2017, but she’s not sure Bachelor Nation will be seeing another female of color anytime soon.
“I don’t think Bachelor Nation is ready for the diversity of a lead … an African American lead,” the Dallas-based lawyer, who was celebrating her 33rd birthday with her fiancé at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, told Us Weekly about where she believes the hit ABC show stands in terms of racial diversity. “I think there’ll be an [African American] man before there’ll be another woman.”
Her fiance, Bryan Abasolo, whom she met and got engaged to in season 13, agrees. “I think there definitely needs to be more diversity on the show,” Abasolo, 38, told Us.“Whether America is ready for it, that’s yet to be seen.”
Lindsay chimed in, “It’s not America it’s Bachelor Nation.”
“I don’t think that there would have been two black Bachelorettes in a row,” she continued noting that Sienne Fleming from Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season would’ve been great as Bachelorette. “I just don’t think the nation … I mean look at the ratings from the season.” Lindsay added that her ratings were “significantly lower than Jojo’s,” the season prior.
Though Lindsay says she didn’t personally face racial backlash on social media, her fiance noted that he “definitely saw it.” “There was a lot of backlash in terms of race for her, and I think she handled herself with such grace and elegance and pride,” Abasolo gushed of his fiancee. “I think she represented the African American community beautifully.”
Meanwhile, the reality TV couple is focused on their future together offscreen. Lindsay revealed in a February interview with Us that their wedding plans were still up in the air, and opened up on about a few of her big day “must haves.”
“Good music. I’m very big on ‘I want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves.’ I know it’s like our day, but it’s about the people we love celebrating our day with us,” she dished to Us at the time. “And I really want good flowers. I feel like flowers add character to the wedding, so that’s a must-have.”
Reporting by Marc Lupo