Waiting for change. Rachel Lindsay claims that due to the controversy happening within Bachelor Nation, many people behind-the-scenes have walked away.
“Anybody that’s standing up for change, I don’t understand how you could be a part of this current season. As we have seen in this current episode, there is still so much work to be done,” Lindsay, 35, said on the Tuesday, March 9, episode of the “Bachelor Party” podcast, noting that the upcoming season of The Bachelorette has begun production. “I don’t want my name to be affiliated. I have heard that there are several people of color who have removed themselves from the show, that were a part of casting for this current season.”
The former Bachelorette, who was the first Black lead in 2017, previously voiced that she felt ABC and Warner Bros. should “regroup” before launching into a new season of The Bachelorette, following the controversy surrounding contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and host Chris Harrison.
“They’re already there, like, at least they’re quarantining for it. There’s no pause on it,” the Texas native said on Tuesday, before adding that the fallout from Kirkconnell, 24, and Harrison, 49, is not over yet. “All people of color were affected by the very words that he said. Yes, he’s apologized. Yes, I accepted it, but still, we didn’t forget what was done of a person who has been with the franchise from the beginning. So, of course, people don’t want to be a part of it — people who don’t feel included don’t want to be a part of it.”
Lindsay also reacted to The Bachelor airing a conversation between Matt James and his estranged father during the Monday, March 8, episode, claiming that it zoned in on the stereotypes around Black fathers.
“If the Bachelor franchise has shown us anything is that they don’t know to protect people of color, they only know how to exploit them. They only know how to mishandle situations when they come to race,” she shared. “This conversation may have been necessary for Matt. Maybe Matt did need this, but this was a conversation that should have been just for Matt, but for the rest of the world to see it shows that you don’t care about your contestants — specifically the ones of color. The fact that you were so willing to throw him under the bus and exploit him for stereotypes within the community for what you would call ‘good TV.'”
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For years, Lindsay has spoken out about the lack of diversity within Bachelor Nation. The latest controversy began last month when Harrison defended Kirkconnell’s racially charged Instagram posts during an Extra interview. He later apologized, as did Kirkconnell, and chose to step away temporarily from the franchise.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” the Perfect Letter author said in his first interview since the controversy on Good Morning America on Thursday, March 4. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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