Rachel Lindsay says she won’t work with The Bachelor franchise again if she doesn’t see change. The former Bachelorette star, 35, has been vocal about the lack of diversity on the ABC dating empire, and now she says she’s done with the series if something isn’t done about it.
“I can’t,” Rachel told AfterBuzz TV’s Bachelor A.M. With Kelsey Meyer, per Us Weekly. “I have to see some type of change. It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point, it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it.”
Rachel is the franchise’s only black lead since its debut in 2002. The attorney and media personality was especially disappointed when a black man, fan-favorite Mike Johnson, was passed over to be the most recent Bachelor star in lieu of white airline pilot Peter Weber.
“In 40 seasons, you’ve had one black lead,” Rachel said.
The former reality star added that there has only been one black president out of 45 U.S. presidents, then pointed out it’s almost on par to say that a black man is more likely to become the president of the United States than to be a black lead in the ABC franchise.
“That’s insane. That’s ridiculous,” she said.
The Bachelor Nation veteran also accused the franchise of brushing certain topics under the rug.
In the aftermath of the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers, Lindsay said the long-running reality franchise needs a “systematic change” now more than ever to highlight what is really going on in America.
“At this point, give us a black Bachelor for season 25,” Rachel said in reference to the blatant lack of diversity in more than 40 combined season of the series. “You have to. I don’t know how you don’t.”
Rachel isn’t the only one fed up with The Bachelor’s lack of diversity. In comments to longtime Bachelor Nation host Chris Harrison’s Instagram post for #BlackOutTuesday, some followers also demanded a change in how the show’s leads are cast.
“Your next post should be about covert racism in Bach nation, bro,” one follower wrote to Harrison.
“Please introduce a plan to include more diversity in Bachelor Nation, as well as addressing the racist rhetoric in the Bachelor Nation community,” another added.
“We want a black Bachelor!” a third follower wrote.
Production for The Bachelor franchise is currently on hold amid filming restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Clare Crawley, a 39-year-old white woman, is already lined up to be the next Bachelorette. Filming for The Bachelor usually begins in the fall.