Rachel Lindsay joined fellow Bachelor franchise alums Tyler Cameron, Nick Viall, Lauren Burnham and thousands more in signing a Change.org petition titled "A Campaign For Anti-Racism in the Bachelor Franchise," which demands for more diversity and representation amid the Black Lives Matter movement. The petition comes days after Lindsay, the first black Bachelorette, threatened to cut ties with The Bachelor franchise unless its "embarrassing" diversity issues are fixed. "ABC and Warner Bros. have been producing Bachelor content for 18 years. During that time they've cast 40 season leads, yet only one Black lead," reads the petition. "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 Color ('BIPOC') relationships, families, and story lines. The franchise, and all those who represent it, should reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country -- both in front of and behind the camera." The petition calls for a black Bachelor for Season 25, at least 35% of each cast to be made up of BIPOC, hiring a diversity consultant to be present for all parts of the show and vetting contestants more thoroughly to ensure those who have promoted prejudice in the past are not cast, among other demands."
Why it matters that The Bachelor franchise keeps casting white leads: "Here's the huge problem, and why something which looks as inconsequential as The Bachelor is actually so important," says Adrienne Jones. "When you allow the lowest common denominator to run the show (in whatever area of life that 'show' is) we will never see real change. When you say to those people, who've gotten pretty good at hiding, 'Hey, we hear you don't want change. It's fine, everything will stay the same,' what you're promising them is that they will always be able to hide. You're promising those white people that their desire to pretend that they are better than non-white people is A-OK. You're telling them that they're right; non-white people don't want to look for love, or, at the very least, that search isn't worthy of having a spotlight put on it. And, if our search for love doesn't matter, if our hearts and emotions and minds and futures don't matter THEN OUR LIVES DON'T MATTER. We've seen many times in real life what happens when people are allowed to believe that our lives don't matter and see us as less than human. We've actually been seeing this for literally hundreds of years and I'm f*cking sick of it."
Catherine Lowe didn't think she stood a chance on The Bachelor because she's a minority: Lowe, who has a Filipino mother and a Swiss-Italian and Scottish father, wrote about her experience on the ABC reality show with now-husband Sean Lowe since their season re-aired Monday night to kick off The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons - Ever! "I thought I was there just to check a box," writes Lowe. "But I ended up with so much more. I became present with the process and as he started noticing me for who I really was, I allowed this experience to open myself up to the possibility of being fully loved and appreciated for all that I was."