Since the show’s inception, Black fans of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” franchises have been calling for a Black lead on the show. And in the past five years, ABC, the network responsible for this hit reality show, has granted those wishes.
In 2017, they cast Rachel Lindsay, the first Black bachelorette. Then there was Tayshia Adams. And then this year, there was Matt James. But if people were hoping to watch a Black love story play out, they didn’t quite get that with any of the three. It was an expectation both Lindsay and James addressed throughout their season.
Ultimately, Lindsay chose a white Columbian man, Bryan Abasolo, Tayshia chose Zac Clark, a white man. And James is currently pursing a relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell, a woman dubbed as “racist Rachael” after images of her in a Native American costume and at an antebellum party surfaced online.
Recently though, on Ziwe Fumudoh’s variety show on Showtime, Lindsay shared some interesting intel about the behind the scenes casting decisions producers of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” make.
When Ziwe asked Rachel why all three of the Black people had chose someone of another race, Lindsay said, “”It’s something I was worried about before I went on the show,” said Lindsay, 36. “I think I got a little bit more grace because I was the first and people were just excited that a person of color was in this role. But then I think when the next person chose someone that wasn’t Black, and then by the time we got to the third one it was like ‘you know what they’re just not going to choose anybody that’s Black.'”
Lindsay said the backlash speaks to the pressure their white counterparts don’t have to face. But she also said some of it is a casting issue.
“There was a point where I broke down on camera, and they used my tears for something else, but I was getting upset at the selection of men of color,” she said. “I also learned as I was going through my season that several of the Black men on my season didn’t date Black women.”
Ziwe pressed her on this. And Lindsay said the show’s producers “found it interesting” to cast Black men who didn’t date Black women and see how they would navigate these situations.
“I said ‘You think that’s interesting?’” Lindsay said, “That’s my life. I live that.’”
Perhaps this was one of the many reasons Lindsay has decided to step away from “The Bachelorette” franchise and being a face for them.
On her podcast with Van Lathan, Higher Learning, Lindsay said that she was over it.
“I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways, but when it’s up, I am, too. I can’t. I can’t do it anymore.”
Well, well, well.
Lindsay plans to release a memoir Miss Me with That. Hopefully, we’ll be hearing more about this casting in the book.