ABC surprised just about everyone last week when they passed over frontrunners Luke Pell and Chase McNary and introduced Nick Viall as the next Bachelor. Not only were some fans outraged that both Nick was getting a fourth shot at finding love on TV, but once again there was a buzz about the franchise ignoring their blatant diversity issue.
The day after Nick made his first appearance as the newly crowned Bachelor, ABC released a promo video (watch below) that mocks its own lack of diversity. The voice-over in the video says that Nick Viall “is gay” if he doesn’t find love with the 25-plus ladies who have been cast for the upcoming season.
Unfortunately, those who are hoping that the network came to their senses and cast someone other than a heterosexual white male to hand out roses will once again find out it’s just a joke — because diversity is clearly not an option within the Bachelor franchise and apparently making a gay joke is funny.
The video, introduced by ABC’s funny-man Jimmy Kimmel, is a spoof of Nick’s failed attempts at finding love on two seasons of the Bachelorette (Andi Dorfman, Kaitlyn Bristowe) and on the current season of Bachelor in Paradise. While some find it humorous, it has many fans wondering when the network will follow through on their promise to cast more diverse leads on the long-running dating reality show.
So, what about this diversity issue and why aren’t we seeing a gay Bachelor instead of watching Jimmy Kimmel poke fun at the idea? Although the chatter from the network hints that a more diverse lead is something they may eventually get around to, the chance that viewers will see a gay Bachelor is slim to none. At least that’s what host Chris Harrison says.
Harrison told the New York Times Magazine that they have a great business model and uses hamburgers and pizzas to demonstrate why changing the way they cast the lead won’t work.
“Is it a good business decision? I just spoke at U.S.C. the other night, and I explained it like this: Look, if you’ve been making pizzas for 12 years and you’ve made millions of dollars and everybody loves your pizzas and someone comes and says, ‘Hey, you should make hamburgers.’ Why? I have a great business model, and I don’t know if hamburgers are going to sell.”
Personally, I think we look better in bathing suits pic.twitter.com/DfT9skywu4— Nick Viall (@viallnicholas28) July 19, 2016
According to Entertainment Weekly, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey hasn’t specifically addressed casting someone who is gay for the role, but she did recently speak to the need to “increase the pool of diverse candidates.”
Although the show has started to add a few contestants who are more diverse, the cast has still been predominately white in the past 20 seasons of the Bachelor and 12 seasons of the Bachelorette.
“I would very much like to see some changes there, and I think one of the biggest changes that we need to do is we need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning,” Dungey said during a press conference in early August.
Dungey’s statement comes months after ex-ABC President Paul Lee told Variety that he would be “very surprised” if the Bachelorette (Season 12) “wasn’t diverse.” She wasn’t — unless you count the fact that JoJo Fletcher revealed in her ABC bio that her mother is Persian.
This is pre- dance off with the family. Dallas I've missed you! Fun times at the Bud Light Party Convention ???????? pic.twitter.com/iMeHAZT5e6— JoJo Fletcher (@JoelleFletcher) August 12, 2016
And yes, Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis (Season 18) was the token diverse Bachelor, but the Atlanta Black Star states that although Juan, who is of Latino descent, appeared to be “something different from your average white dude,” he was “no different from the British, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Australian, or Russian men that dominate American television.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 31, 2016
Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor begins in January 2017 on ABC. Will you be watching?
[Image via ABC Television Network]