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'Bachelorette' Star Rachel Lindsay Demands The Show Address Its 'Systemic Racism'

Gettyimages | Matt Winkelmeyer
By Mike Walters

'Bachelorette' star Rachel Lindsay is calling for the television franchise to address its alleged long-running issue with 'systemic racism' and promises to 'disassociate' herself from the show if something is not done change the issue.

The former 'Bachelor' star, who was the first and only Black lead in the show's history since debuting in 2002, is speaking out in a lengthy blog post that touches on many of the show's issues.

The reality star explained her decision to take the lead on a show like this, saying, "I ultimately decided to be the Bachelorette because I knew this opportunity was bigger than me. I knew that I wanted to present myself to an audience that had not seen a lead of color in this role."

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'We Still Don't Have Diversity This Show Needs'

Gettyimages | Lisa Lake

She continued, "I knew that I wanted to be a trailblazer in this franchise to diversify the lead role, to diversify the contestants trying out and cast for the show, and to diversify the audience watching this show. Well, I am sad to say that after almost four years in this franchise, we still don’t have the diversity that this show needs and that our audience deserves."

Lindsay admits that the show does include 'more diverse contestants' at this point -- but questions if the lead truly is interested in dating outside of their race.

"I think that is evident by how far their “journey” takes them during each season. It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television. The sad reality is that people of color become placeholders as the token person of color to add some flavor to the second half of the season," she writes.

Rachel Lindsay Lists Necessary Changes For The Show

Gettyimages | Daniel Zuchnik

The 'Bachelorette' star details several instances through the years, where she has been vocal about the racial issues with the shows.

But, in her blog post...Rachel made a list of things that need to be changed to complete it's much needed 'diversity makeover.' She writes...

These are the changes I would suggest:

Cast leads that are truly interested in dating outside of their race;

Stop making excuses for the lack of diversity and take action to rectify the problem;

Diversify the producers on the show to make your contestants of color feel more comfortable;

Stop creating problematic storylines for people of color.

Lastly, and maybe the most important action item, the franchise should make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism.

'The System Is Not Designed For People Of Color'


"The system is not designed for people of color. This is not a shocking or groundbreaking statement when the creator of the show admitted that my season’s lower ratings “revealed something about our fans” and furthermore concluded that it was “incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way," Lindsay writes.

As for the show going in the direction that will get the highest ratings, or make the most money -- she says, "This is the franchise blatantly recognizing and admitting that they are perpetuating the problem. They are willing to accept this reality to attract an audience with specific desires in an effort to not lose viewers."

In the end, Rachel points at the NFL's recent reversal on its position on taking a knee in protest and making a public statement condemning racism. A thinks this is a good time for the 'Bachelor' nation to follow suit.

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