- Fans of The Bachelor have started a new campaign calling on the ABC franchise to cast a Black man in the 25th season.
- Rachel Lindsay, who was the bachelorette in season 13 is the first and only Black lead to date.
- In an interview the 35-year-old said that it is embarrassing to be associated with the franchise.
- The petition on Change.Org has been signed by over 44 000 people.
A new online campaign calling for The Bachelor franchise to diversify its casting has been started by fans of the long-running dating reality show.
ABC and Warner Bros have produced the show for 18 years and during this time they have cast 40 leads, with only one Black lead.
"This is unacceptable. As creators of one of the most popular and influential franchises on television, ABC and Warner Bros. have an opportunity and responsibility to feature Black, Indigenous, People of Colour ("BIPOC"), relationships, families, and storylines. The franchise, and all those who represent it, should reflect and honour the racial diversity of our country - both in front of and behind the camera," reads the petition on Change.Org.
According to USA Today, The Bachelor Diversity Campaign was launched by viewers who connected through a fan Facebook page.
There are 13 calls to action including casting a Black lead for the 25th season of The Bachelor, casting BIPOC for at least 35% of contestants each season, giving equitable screen time for BIPOC, hiring more BIPOC employees in all parts of production, hiring a diversity consultant, condemning racist abuse to BIPOC contestants, and pledging to donate to combat racism, to name a few.
To date the petition has over 44 000 signatures and according to E! News, several cast members have shared it on their social media platforms.
Rachel Lindsay, the first and only Black lead to date, is among them. The 35-year-old recently appeared as a judge on the spin-off, Listen to Your Heart.
In an interview with AfterBuzz Rachel said: "In 40 seasons [The Bachelor] had one Black lead. We are on 45 presidents. And in 45 presidents there's been, 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."
When asked if she will continue her association with the franchise, she said she can't and that she has to see some change.
"It's ridiculous. It's embarrassing. At this point, it's embarrassing to be affiliated with it."