Rachel Lindsay says she will gladly pass the torch to Tayshia Adams on The Bachelorette.
The former star of the rose-filled reality show reacted to the bombshell news that Tayshia will replace Clare Crawley as next season’s leading lady, making her the second Black woman cast for the coveted role in the long history of the ABC franchise.
Rachel told ET Online she’s thrilled about the casting shakeup amid rumors that Clare found love fast and exited the show two weeks into filming. The gorgeous attorney explained that when she stepped in as The Bachelorette three years ago, she wanted to “pave a way for more diversity” and for more people who look like her and not “the typical lead.”
“To see another Bachelorette of color, I’m thrilled,” Rachel said. “I have been fighting for inclusion, and I’ve said before that Tayshia would be an excellent Bachelorette, so I am more than happy to pass the torch.”
Rachel, who found love – and eventual marriage – with Bryan Abasolo on her season, said she’s “excited” to watch Tayshia’s journey and see how she will represent herself now that she’s in the driver’s seat. Tayshia previously had her heart broken by Colton Underwood after their overnight date on his season, and her Bachelor in Paradise romance with John Paul Jomes was also short-lived.
Fans know that before Clare was announced as The Bachelorette, Tayshia and fellow alum Tia Booth were both considered for the role. Rachel said the choice to cast Tayshia was an important step in her long fight for inclusion on the series, although she’d still like to see some changes behind the scenes as well.
“There are other single women in Bachelor Nation that the show could’ve chosen, and there were other alumni who were considered for this role, so I am really happy they chose Tayshia,” she said. “I do still want to see some additional producers of all colors brought in, but change is being made and I’m happy to see it.”
Rachel’s seal of approval of The Bachelorette casting comes a few months after she threatened to disassociate herself from the franchise that made her famous.
“I have to see some type of change,” Rachel told AfterBuzz TV’s Bachelor A.M. With Kelsey Meyer, per Us Weekly. “It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point, it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it.”
At the time, Rachel was the franchise’s only Black lead since its debut in 2002. She was furious when fan-favorite Mike Johnson was passed over for Peter Weber as ABC’s leading man earlier this year.
But a lot has changed since then. The move to cast Tayshia as The Bachelorette comes after Matt James was announced as the first-ever Black male lead. In an unprecedented move, Matt was given the title in June as he bypassed vying for The Bachelorette’s heart.