Mike Johnson had some harsh words about The Bachelor franchise. In a new interview, the fan-favorite from Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette blasted the ABC dating series’ “atrocious” lack of diversity, despite the recent announcement that Matt James is the next star of The Bachelor.
Johnson also weighed in on rumors that Tayshia Adams is the new Bachelorette after something went wonky with Clare Crawley’s love journey.
In an interview with Variety, Johnson said it’s “terrible” how long it took for producers to give the lead role to a person of color and he noted that it shouldn’t have taken “an outcry from fans” for it to happen.
While he was happy about the announcement that James would the first Black Bachelor in 25 seasons, Johnson also felt the timing of the announcement was questionable when it was promoted ahead of The Bachelorette taping — and after the newly crowned Bachelor star had already been announced as one of Crawley’s suitors.
“We were all talking about Clare being The Bachelorette, and before her season had even aired, we bring on a different Bachelor? That the timing was definitely off. It was peculiar. It wasn’t natural. It was forced… I’m not sure how Matt went from being a contestant to being a lead…”
James’ stint on The Bachelor has not started filming yet, but Johnson admitted he was “baffled” by what is going on with The Bachelorette after the California hairstylist reportedly quit the show and was replaced by Adams. The female-led series is currently being shot at a quarantined resort in California.
When asked why he thinks Adams, a former finalist on Colton Underwood’s season, was chosen to replace the original Bachelorette pick, Johnson said she is simply an “awesome” and “wonderful” human being and that he knows she really wants to find love.
“She’s a wonderful catch. Those suitors will have a great time with Tayshia,” he added.
Still, given the questionable timing of the historic Bachelor casting, Johnson said he didn’t think producers were looking at skin color when it came to The Bachelorette.
“I don’t think they were like, ‘We need a Black lead, so we’re choosing Tayshia.’ I think that whatever the hell happened, they needed a new Bachelorette, and it had nothing to do with diversity. I don’t feel Tayshia was chosen because she is a Black woman.”
Adams will be the second woman of color to headline the rose-filled dating show. In 2017, Rachel Lindsay was The Bachelorette. Interestingly, Rachel had been very vocal about wanting to see Johnson as The Bachelor.