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Mike Johnson

Does 'The Bachelor' Franchise Have a Diversity Problem?

Gettyimages | Raymond Hall
By Sarah Veldman

The Bachelor franchise has been criticized heavily for their lack of diversity in the past, and after Peter Weber got the role over fan-favorite Mike Johnson this season, the debate was once again re-opened.

Fans are still left wondering why so many past bachelors and bachelorettes have been white, despite the fact that Rachel Lindsay, an African American woman took on the starring role in The Bachelorette pretty recently.

Was Peter Weber given the role over Mike Johnson because he's white? Many people seem to think so.

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Peter Weber Responds To The Controversy

Peter Weber
Gettyimages | Noel Vasquez

Every season, fans have their favorite person whom they want to be the next bachelor or bachelorette, and while Mike Johnson was one of the most popular contestants on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette, he still wasn't chosen, which many claimed was because he's black.

Peter Weber recently responded to the controversy, feeling it's not his fault, and he's happy to be the chosen one. He told Entertainment Tonight, “I didn’t make this decision, right? I was very grateful to accept it and move forward, but listen, regardless of race, of identity or whatnot, everybody is deserving of love. And I’m not the only person."

There Are Always Happy and Unhappy Viewers

Giphy | The Bachelorette

He's responding to the fact that many fans also wanted Tyler Cameron to be the bachelor. It's a difficult choice every season, and there will always be viewers who are thrilled with the choice, and others who hate it, though it doesn't stop them from watching regardless of who becomes the star.

He continued, “Mike would’ve been a great Bachelor. Tyler could have been a great Bachelor. They picked me and I’m very excited and very humbled.”

Unfortunately, whoever is chosen spends most of their time defending the choice in the run-up to the season premiere.

Mike Johnson Also Responded To The Controversy

Mike Johnson
Gettyimages | David Becker

In September, on the Bachelor Happy Hour With Rachel & Ali podcast, Mike opened up about his feelings on being passed over.

He said, “Yes, I wanted to be the Bachelor. Yes, I auditioned to be the Bachelor. I went in there with the right intentions of wanting to find love (and) wanting to be true to myself. They chose the right person for what they want — and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.”

Mike, as always, is being very diplomatic in his responses which is why we all love him.

Rachel Lindsay's Season Saw Low Ratings

Giphy | The Bachelorette

While the show received praise for casting Rachel Lindsay as the first African American bachelorette, her season saw some of the lowest ratings the show has endured.

In a January 2018 interview with The New York Times, the show creator Mike Fleiss said, "I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way... How else are you going to explain the fact that she’s down in the ratings, when — Black or white — she was an unbelievable Bachelorette? It revealed something about our fans."

The show has claimed in the past they just want to choose the right person, regardless of race.

Clearly, there is still a long way to go if the show wants to solve their diversity problem, but it remains to be seen how they'll go about this.

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