The Bachelorette contestant Ian Thomson didn’t get much screen time with Kaitlyn Bristowe this season, but his Week 6 exit is creating a buzz on Twitter, with fans hoping to see the 28-year-old Ivy league grad as the next Bachelor.
Not only would ABC finally tackle their long-standing diversity issue if they cast Ian as ABC’s next leading man, viewers would finally be able to spend their Monday nights watching a Bachelor who is the total package — handsome, charming, witty, and extremely articulate.
Even better? He’s not a “fitness coach,” “healer,” or a “former financial investor” — Ian has a real job, has an amazing back story, and was serious about finding love when he joined the cast of the Bachelorette this season. During his exit on Monday night (ABC’s preview below), he questions Kaitlyn’s intentions on the show, and hints that she is not there for the right reasons.
“I don’t question his intentions, I question your intentions. I feel like you’re here to make out with a bunch of dudes on TV.”
Because Ian doesn’t make it to the final four on this season of The Bachelorette, it’s likely he won’t be a top choice when the show’s producers start casting for the Bachelor 2016. In recent seasons, the men who landed the role have made it a bit further into the season, like farmer Chris Soules and the All-American guy, Sean Lowe. That trend may be the reason behind producers not picking a well-rounded guy who happens to be a minority, and going with someone like Josh Murray or one of Ian’s castmates, Shawn Booth.
Since the Bachelor first premiered in 2002, there has been plenty of chatter about the lack of a diversity on the popular reality show. In the past 19 seasons, the show has avoided casting minority for the lead role, aside from Season 18, when ABC named their first “non-white” Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis. However, most fans were unimpressed with the network’s lame attempt to cast someone who wasn’t the usual Caucasian Ken doll-type.
Galavis’ season was a disaster, with NY Mag dubbing him “the worst Bachelor in history,” and author Jennifer Weiner criticizing the network for their casting efforts.
“They didn’t go outside the books of what that guy looks like. It’s not like the next bachelor looks like Barack Obama or has dreadlocks or has darker skin even.”
According to the infographic below, created by Karen X. Cheng, there were only three minority contestants on the seasons that aired between 2009-2012 — all three ladies were eliminated early on in each season. One year after a class action racial discrimination suit was brought against the show, a whopping six “non-white” contestants were cast for Sean Lowe’s season. However, it was back to what Cheng calls “token minority status” the following season, with just one minority contestant — Amber James — cast amidst 30 of Chris Soules’ ladies.
While Ian Thomson was not cast for the franchise’s summer spinoff, Bachelor in Paradise, fans would love to see him handing out roses in 2016. Will ABC finally change their rather dismal track record with diversity on the next season of the Bachelor?
[Image: ABC / Model Mayhem]