Former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay threatened that if “The Bachelor” franchise doesn’t address its racial diversity issues, she’s walking away from it all, she told AfterBuzz on Friday.
“If we’re going around talking about Black Lives Matter and what’s important and how we need systemic change … well then let’s talk about systemic change when it comes to ‘The Bachelor.’ We got to change some things there, too,” Lindsay said.
Calling the long-running franchise’s output “whitewashed,” the first — and only — black lead in the “Bachelor” universe said, “I think that they have to, at this point, give us a black ‘Bachelor’ for Season 25. You have to. I don’t know how you don’t. And it’s been asked of me, will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way? I can’t,” she answered. “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.”
Lindsay wondered out loud how anyone could be a part of “The Bachelor” franchise and watch the treatment of people of color in the country without having a moment to “self-reflect that you’ve been part of the problem” by perpetuating “this type of behavior…putting out something that is very white-washed and doesn’t have any type of color in it, and you’re not trying to be effective and change that.”
This isn’t the first time Lindsay has faced — and spoken out about — diversity issues within the franchise. When “Bachelor” alum Leah Block tweeted that her roommate joked that Lindsay’s season was less “Bachelorette” and more “Love and Hip Hop,” Lindsay immediately responded, “Let me know if she wants to meet Lee … they sound like they would have a lot in common #ihavetimetoday.”
That was an apparent reference to “Bachelorette” contestant Lee Garrett, who’s been accused of firing off a racially-charged tweet or two of his own. Block subsequently apologized.
Representatives for the “Bachelor” franchise did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
Watch the interview below: