After becoming the first Black Bachelorette for ABC’s The Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay said she will not be renewing her contract. During a chat on her podcast “Higher Learning” with Van Lathan, Lindsay explained that she was fed up with the franchise.
“I’m f****** tired,” Lindsay said. “I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough.”
She added, “I can’t take it anymore,” Lindsay said. “I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t do it anymore.”
Lindsay is saying goodbye because of all the racial controversy that they have been facing. In May of 2020, former contestant Hannah Brown was under fire after saying the N-word while rapping Da Baby’s track “Rockstar” on Instagram Live. Rachael Kirkconnell, one of the women on this current season of The Bachelor, faced backlash after old photos of her an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal surfaced. According to Variety, she has also been accused of posting racially insensitive videos on TikTok and liking photos that show the Confederate flag. Lindsay, who is also a correspondent on Extra, interviewed showrunner Chris Harrison about the Kirkconnell controversy and he was more alarmed at the criticism she was facing than her actions.
“People are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her and her parents’ voting record,” he told Lindsay. “It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” Harrison said during the interview. “I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. And until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
On “Higher Learning,” Lindsay mentioned her previous comments about wanting to leave the franchise due to a lack of diversity. In June, she called them out for not having enough Black bachelors and bachelorettes. In response to her calls for change, there is now a Black bachelor, Matt James. She said they also hired a diversity consultant, but they continue to drop the ball.
“But how much more do I want to be affiliated with this?,” she continued. “How much more can I take of things like this? I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. Okay, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant — who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I’m confused as to how you could have whole consultants working for you, yet what happened just happened.”
Even though she is making an exit, she doesn’t regret being affiliated with The Bachelorette.
“My entire reason for doing The Bachelorette — and I was lucky that it worked out for me in the most beautiful way in finding Bryan — is that I wanted to be representative as a Black woman to this audience. And I wanted to pave the way for more people to have this opportunity. In some ways that has happened. I wanted the franchise to be better. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I’m connected to it. It did stuff for me, and I’ll never forget that.”