The Real Reason Rachel Lindsay Might Quit The Bachelor Franchise

Rachel Lindsay broke the mold as the first black lead in Bachelor franchise history and she's tired of being the only one with that designation. In June 2020, Us Weekly reported Rachel will not continue to work with the Bachelor franchise unless the lack of diversity is addressed and changed. Rachel hosts the only official Bachelor podcast, Bachelor Happy Hour, along with fellow Bachelorette alum Becca Kufrin. She also appeared on the March 2020 Women Tell All special to lead a discussion on bullying and racism.

According to Us Weekly, Rachel said, "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." She explained, "In 40 seasons, you've had one black lead. We have had 45 presidents and in 45 presidents, you have 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."

Rachel believes that The Bachelor needs a "systemic change" overall. She said, "I don't know how you are a part of The Bachelor franchise and you're watching what's happening in our country right now and you don't self reflect that you've been part of the problem." She described the series as "very white-washed," before adding, "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."

Rachel Lindsay hoped to be a trailblazer for change in 'Bachelor' Nation

Rachel Lindsay addressed those comments about leaving the franchise in her own blog post in June 2020. She opened with, "Recently, I have received many questions regarding the headlines stating that I will leave the Bachelor franchise if changes to address the lack of diversity in lead roles are not established." She wrote, "You have often heard me say in interviews that I never watched any Bachelor franchise show prior to being a contestant on it. It is not because I am not a fan of reality television, because I watch a good share of that on the weekly. It is because black people know historically and presently that the show is not formatted for their success."

Rachel reflected on the difference between competing on The Bachelor vs. being the lead on The Bachelorette, writing, "when I was asked to be the Bachelorette, I knew this was asking something completely different from me. 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."

While she was certainly a trailblazer, that move hasn't kicked off as much change as expected. Rachel also wrote, "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."

Rachel Lindsay has specific suggestions to change the 'Bachelor' franchise's diversity issues

In her June 2020 blog post, The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay admitted, "Although I have been vocal on many issues, I still feel that I have not been loud enough on the deep-rooted, 18-year systemic problems in this franchise." She explained, "You never want to bite the hand that feeds you, but you also do not want to be aiding and abetting problematic behavior. I am affiliated with this franchise and to be silent on some matters is to still be complicit with these cycles of detrimental conduct." 

Then, she suggested some specific changes, including casting "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," and diversifying producers to "make your contestants of color feel more comfortable." Additionally, she wants the show to "stop creating problematic storylines for people of color." Most of all, Rachel insists that "the franchise should make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism." She acknowledged that "the system is not designed for people of color." 

Aside from speaking her mind about what is wrong with the Bachelor shows, Rachel outlined some simple, yet potentially effective, action items to make things right and address this long-standing problem. The Bachelor fans have held the show's cast members accountable, hoping that they are "here for the right reasons." Now, Rachel is asking the same thing from the show itself.