Rachel Lindsay has some strong feelings about diversity on The Bachelor franchise—or the lack thereof. The former Bachelorette star, who broke barriers when she was cast as the first African-American lead on the long-running ABC reality show last year, told Us Weekly she doesn’t think producers will cast another black female lead again in the near future.
Rachel Lindsay made history when she was named the first African-American star of the long-running ABC franchise, which kicked off in 2002 with a male-led season starring Alex Michel. The series alternates between a male and female fronted season every six months. But despite her happy ending— the Dallas attorney became engaged to Dr. Bryan Abasolo at the end of her season — Rachel Lindsay thinks it will be a while before another female of color follows in her footsteps as The Bachelorette. Lindsay clarified that it is Bachelor Nation, the diehard demographic of the ABC franchise, and not America as a whole that may have the problem.
“I don’t think Bachelor Nation is ready for the diversity of a lead … an African American lead,” Rachel told Us Weekly, “I think there’ll be an [African-American] man before there’ll be another woman.”
Rachel Lindsay, who at age 32 also made history when she was cast as the oldest Bachelorette star in 2017, told Us that while she thought contestant Sieinne Fleming from Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s recent season of The Bachelor would have made a great star for the upcoming season of the show, she didn’t think there would ever be back-to-back black bachelorettes. Indeed, producers cast a heartbroken Becca Kufrin as their new lead after Luyendyk dumped her while ABC’s cameras rolled.
“I don’t think that there would have been two black Bachelorettes in a row,” Lindsay said. “I just don’t think the nation … I mean look at the ratings from the season.”
Rachel Lindsay’s historic season of The Bachelorette featured a whopping 31 male suitors, including a total of 14 men of color – 11 of them black men. In fact, one of the black males, Eric Bigger, made it all the way to the fantasy suite dates, another Bachelorette first. Unfortunately, Rachel Lindsay’s diverse group of guys also included someone named “Whaboom” and a man whose job description was listed as Tickle Monster.
Even with all of that entertainment potential, Rachel Lindsay pointed out that the ratings for her season of The Bachelorette were “significantly lower” than the prior season that starred Jo Jo Fletcher.
Take a look at the video below to see Rachel Lindsay talking about being cast as the first-ever African-American Bachelorette star.
The Bachelorette returns to ABC in May.