Fans of The Bachelorette are reacting to a throwback photo from original star Trista Rehn Sutter’s season 17 years ago.
Ahead of The Bachelor — Greatest Seasons Ever! recap of Trista’s season, the official Bachelorette Instagram page shared a photo of the reality star surrounded by her two dozen suitors back in the day, including her future husband Ryan Sutter. were quick to agree that casting — and men’s fashion — has come a long way since 2003, but they also noticed that there was only one Black man and one Asian man in the cast.
The mostly white cast was especially noticeable, so it’s no surprise that several followers commented on the lack of diversity in the inaugural season of the popular dating show.
“Y’all really only casted one Black man?” one follower wrote of Trista’s season.
“The Bachelor franchise ought to be ashamed of how extremely little diversity that have shown over the years. How did everyone think this was ok?” another asked.
In addition to the bad casting on Trista’s season, the pictured men were all wearing suits with too-long jackets and baggy pants. On Instagram, Bachelorette fans reacted to the oversized “Zoot” suits and cheap hair gel worn by Trista’s men.
“And not one tailored suit in sight,” one fan wrote of the group.
“So relieved fashion has changed in 17 years. Hopefully, the casting process has too,” another added. You can see the cast photo below.
The Bachelor franchise has long been criticized for its lack of diversity. Over the past 18 years and 40 combined seasons, there has only been one Black lead; Bachelorette Season 13 star Rachel Lindsay. Last month, amid mounting pressure from fans, the franchise announced the first-ever Black Bachelor, Matt James, who will start filming his season later this year.
In an Instagram post, which can be seen here, Trista admitted she was nervous for her season of the rose-filled reality show to re-air. The Bachelorette veteran also joked about her own fashion sense and braced herself for the haters who will undoubtedly “come out of the woodwork” to comment on her vintage season.
While fans will have the chance to relive Trista’s season with the ABC special, production for the upcoming 18th season of The Bachelorette is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new season is set to take place “soon” in an isolated remote location with leading lady Clare Crawley and her still-to-be-announced suitors.