Rachel Lindsay is very open and vocal in emphasizing and criticizing against the lack of diversity in The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. Lindsay made history back in 2017 when she was the series’ first black Bachelorette. But years later, she’s still the only black lead the franchise has ever produced.
Lindsay’s remarks about the show had made headlines and noises in social media for saying she’d be willing to cut connection and ties with the franchise if the lack of diversity in lead roles isn’t paid attention with. So, she expressed her powerful, poignant and reflective sentiments in her blog.
Well, the first black Bachelorette suggested that the entire franchise “needs a diversity makeover,” so she is giving them some lists to follow for better outcomes. This may be far-fetched, but she strongly believes that equality and diversity will spice-up the show more and better reviews from the fans will be received, accordingly.
“I ultimately decided to be the Bachelorette because I knew this opportunity was bigger than me. I knew that I wanted to present myself to an audience that had not seen a lead of color in this role,” Lindsay writes. “I knew that I wanted to be a trailblazer in this franchise to diversify the lead role, to diversify the contestants trying out and casted for the show, and to diversify the audience watching this show. Well, I am sad to say that after almost four years in this franchise, we still don’t have the diversity that this show needs, and that our audience deserves.”
She emphasized how other contestants from other races ended up empty-handed at the end of the show. Speaking to the franchise increasing the number of diverse contestants in recent years, Lindsay writes, “Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their ‘journey’ takes them during each season. It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television. The sad reality is that people of color become placeholders as the token person of color to add some flavor to the second half of the season.”
While Lindsay expresses that “you never want to bite the hand that feeds you,” she also writes that she doesn’t want to “be aiding and abetting problematic behavior.” Lindsay writes, “I am affiliated with this franchise and to be silent on some matters is to still be complicit with these cycles of detrimental conduct … This is the reason that I have come to the conclusion that if changes are not made on the inside and outside of the franchise, I will dissociate myself from it.”
She also pointed out the importance of diversity in the show and how it will create impact to the viewers and aspirants. Many have expressed their support with her thoughts and worth realizing with.
Meanwhile, she released her statement and ever-ready for criticisms, the entire franchise “needs a diversity makeover,” so she’s giving them some suggestions of where to start. She writes:
1. “Cast leads that are truly interested in dating outside of their race;
2. Stop making excuses for the lack of diversity and take action to rectify the problem;
3. Diversify the producers on the show to make your contestants of color feel more comfortable; and
4. Stop creating problematic storylines for people of color.”
Her fifth and final suggestion is that “the franchise should make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism.”