Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay spoke to Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, June 9, to express her frustration regarding the fact that former Bachelorette contestant Mike Johnson was not cast as the lead in the most recent season of The Bachelor. Lindsay felt that Johnson would have made an ideal lead and that fans would have rather had him take on the role than Peter Weber.
There has never been an African American Bachelor and Lindsay was greatly disappointed to find out that Johnson would not get to be the first one. She explained that the charming and respectful portfolio manager and Air Force veteran seemed to be the perfect choice. She even reached out to production in an effort to figure out what their reasoning was for not casting him.
“I definitely asked. I was extremely vocal about Mike Johnson and how he checked all the boxes and it doesn’t make sense why he is not the lead. And it even seemed as if the audience wanted him. The audience was not into Peter,” she began.
She went on to say that she was not given a specific reason as to why production passed on Johnson. She did note, however, that she does not believe it was because he is African American.
View this post on Instagram
I didn't always believe in myself or my voice. Growing up, I always thought the idea of accomplishing a big dream, let alone surpassing one, was just something that could be talked about but never realized. A lot of things took place in my life that reinforced that for me, and for a long time, I never felt truly seen. That's why representation matters, and it's why my work with @bbbsamerica is so important. For nearly a decade, I have worked as a "Big" through their incredible organization, which means I have the opportunity to show up for a "Little" – a child waiting to believe in his voice. Many of the children on the waitlist are younger versions of myself – black kids watching the news, hearing different points of view and not understanding where they fit in. It really shouldn't be that hard for a kid to see their potential or know their safety. Through the mentorship of young people, we can add to the work being done to heal our society. This is not an ad, nor is it the only solution. This is just a calling from my heart to yours to consider becoming a "Big" in your hometown to help advance conversations with the next generation of young people who will do better in this world because they have been seen.
“Maybe they can’t specifically tell me why they didn’t choose him. And I think if they could tell us, they would, because it just looks so bad that they didn’t pick him. I mean, Michael Johnson was a gift. To me, it was an easy decision, but I’m not in the decision room,” she said.
She pointed out that production does do a lot of research on an individual before casting them as a lead, even requiring them to pass a background check. Thus, there must be something they determined during this process that made them feel Weber was the better choice. Production never revealed why they chose Weber. After the announcement was made, Johnson also expressed his confusion regarding the decision, saying that he did not know why they had felt the need to go with someone else.
Lindsay was the first and only African American Bachelorette the franchise has ever seen. In recent weeks, she has been very vocal about her feelings that the franchise needs to be more diverse. As The Inquisitr previously reported, she even said that if she does not see the franchise take steps to implement change she will no longer want to be affiliated with it.