Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, has said most of the Black male suitors who were cast during her season in 2017 did not date Black women and the show’s producers intentionally picked them.
The 36-year-old, who has been very outspoken about the lack of diversity on The Bachelor franchise, made this known during a sit-down with comedian Ziwe Fumudoh on Monday, People reported. The topic came up when the host asked if she had ever been criticized for selecting a White suitor at the end of her season. Lindsay chose her current husband and former contestant Bryan Abasolo during her season.
“All three of the Black Bachelors and Bachelorettes have ended up with partners who are not of color,” Ziwe said. Besides Lindsay, the other two Black leads, Matt James and Tayshia Adams, also selected White contestants.
“It’s something I was worried about before I went on the show,” Lindsay said. “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.”
She added: “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 those criticisms paint a picture of how “unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren’t.” She, however, added it also has to do with casting on the show, People reported.
“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.”
Asked to expatiate on that, Lindsay said producers for the show “found it interesting” to select Black men who had never been romantically involved with Black women. “I said ‘You think that’s interesting? That’s my life. I live that,’” Lindsay said.
Lindsay was a co-host of the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast but parted ways with the show after 100 episodes. Her decision to sever ties with the show came after she registered her displeasure over comments former host Chris Harrison made following the controversy involving Rachael Kirkconnell.
During season 25 of The Bachelor, Kirkconnell, a White contestant on the show, received backlash after photos of her wearing a Native American dress at an antebellum plantation-themed costume party in 2018 resurfaced on social media. In the wake of the backlash, Harrison came to her defense but that also provoked the ire of people. Harrison ended up rendering an apology and also announced he’ll be temporarily taking a break from the show.