Lindsay, who appeared on season 21 of The Bachelor and was the first African American lead on its spinoff, The Bachelorette, believes the franchise must change with the times.
“In 40 seasons of [The Bachelor], you’ve had one black lead,” Lindsay said during an interview on the AfterBuzz TV digital network. “We are on 45 presidents. And in 45 presidents there’s been one black president. You are almost on par to say you’re more likely to become the president of the United States than you are a black lead in this franchise. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous.”
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She acknowledged that her season of The Bachelorette had lower ratings than other seasons, but took the franchise to task, saying producers only try to appeal to white viewers, with little effort to bring in African Americans.
“That’s very frustrating for me, and if we’re going around talking about ‘black lives matter,’ and what’s important… well then let’s talk about systemic change when it comes to The Bachelor franchise.”
“It’s been asked of me, will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way,” she asked. “I can’t. I have to see some type of change. It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it.”
At one point in the interview, she called the series “very whitewashed.”
ABC did not immediately respond to Deadline’s request for comment.
Lindsay addressed the issue of diversity on TV as protests against police brutality and racism sweep the nation following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“This is a movement that didn’t start yesterday or last week. This is a movement that started years ago as Black Lives Matter, but decades ago with us demanding our rights. So it’s just been amazing to see that we have everyone’s attention right now and everyone is kind of unifying and all fighting for change,” she said. “That’s just something I’ve never seen before.”
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