As the only Black lead in the franchise's history, Rachel Lindsay is tasked with being the most outspoken Bachelor/Bachelorette alum when it comes to the show's lack of diversity. She has spoken up about it time and time again, and while Chris Harrison seemingly attempts to pass the buck on people of color not attending casting calls, Rachel said she's "embarrassed" to be associated with the show, especially as racism continues to be a major issue in this country.
During a recent conversation with Page Six, Rachel opened up about Hannah Brown's recent apology for using the N-word and how it feels to be connected to a franchise that is so far behind and doesn't show any legitimate signs of changing anytime soon.
Rachel began by saying she's not going to critique Hannah's apology because it was "solid" and "heartfelt." She also added that that "is exactly what I would expect when it takes you two weeks to put out an apology. I mean, it should have been all those things.” Rachel then said many people will be counting on Hannah to be true to her word because "there were a lot of things that were promised in the apology."
And getting into how Rachel is the franchise's only person of color to ever lead a season, she make this damning comparison:
"We have now casted for 40 seasons—even though they haven’t started Clare [Crawley’s]. There’s been one person of color in 40 seasons. We have 45 presidents. There has been one person of color. We are literally on par to saying that you are more likely to become the president of the United States than you are to be the lead of this franchise. That is insane.”
She then added that she doesn't see how she can be fully supportive of a show that doesn't have the same values as her and many Americans. “I just feel like if anybody is in my position, you couldn’t sit quiet about that," she said. "And I don’t think that anyone would fault me—a higher up in the franchise—for saying that.”
As for who should take responsibility for this, Rachel said she feels like she played a small role in this as well. While that's debatable because she's not the one who ultimately makes these decisions, she said: "We continue to make excuses as to why we haven’t seen this change. You continue to say, ‘Oh, well it’s just because the lead hasn’t picked a person of color that’s gone far enough. Oh, this person was more qualified for this person. Oh, the audience liked this person more.’ But that’s not true.”
Ultimately she said:
"When I look at what’s happening in our country, and then I look at the franchise, I can’t continue to be affiliated—it’s embarrassing honestly at this point—to be affiliated with a franchise who is not on the right side of this."
Here are guides for how to demand justice right now, how to find mental health resources if you're a Black woman, how to talk to your relatives about Black Lives Matter, how to spot a fake protest story, and how to protest safely.
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