AceShowbiz - Rachel Lindsay slammed "The Bachelor" franchise in an op-ed for New York Magazine. In her piece, the attorney talked about host Chris Harrison and how she felt "exploited" on "The Bachelorette" as she recalled her time on both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette".
"I knew my relationship with The Bachelor was over in February 2021, when Chris Harrison, the host and face of the franchise, showed his true self on national television," Lindsay wrote in the piece which was published in the June 21 issue. "We had only seen Chris Harrison perform as a host; this was like catching him with a hot mic."
She continued, "The franchise has spent 19 years cultivating a toxic audience. They have constantly given it a product it wants: a midwestern/southern white, blonde, light-eyed Christian. Not all viewers are like that. " 'My Higher Learning' co-host and I have divided it – there is a Bachelor Nation, and there is a Bachelor Klan."
Describing the "Bachelor Klan", Rachel explained, "Bachelor Klan is hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic." She added, "They are afraid of change. They are afraid to be uncomfortable. They are afraid when they get called out."
Rachel also recalled how her audition for "The Bachelor" went, writing, "I auditioned in June, and I had my final interview in August. I knew then that they wanted me. I walked into a one-on-one with a producer who said, 'Who's your ideal person? Who would your parents love to see you with?' 'Barack Obama,' I replied. They were like, 'You know what? No more questions. Let's move you to the next interview.' I walked into another room, and it was a sea of people. Nobody was Black. In the front, there were three chairs: two for the executive producers and one for me."
Elsewhere in the piece, Rachel noted that the franchise returned to what it was like before she came in as the first "Bachelorette" leading lady. "It wasn't until around 2018 that I started to feel uneasy. I watched the show fall back into old patterns. I grew annoyed by Becca Kufrin's season because of the way the producers chose to depict a white woman's story versus mine. She got engaged to a Garrett Yrigoyen, who had a history of liking offensive tweets," she said. "They tiptoed around it and gave him an opportunity to explain. It was as if they'd checked off a box with me, and once they'd done that, they went right back to doing what was comfortable and easy."
Despite that, Rachel shared that she didn't regret being the Bachelorette. "But if I were to do anything differently, it would be to think about the diversity of the stories on my season. Kenny is somebody I really liked. I hated that he dedicated so much time to fighting with Lee and that this became his narrative," so she explained. "I should have kept him along so viewers could see a beautiful display of a Black man on the show. I wish I had highlighted Josiah. He and I were never going to make it either (we were too alike), but he was funny, and he was an attorney, and he had a beautiful story about why he chose his profession."
"As I've continued to watch the show, I've realized they don't seem to understand the stereotypes that are placed on Black men. They, too, only see them as fitting into one of these stereotypes: angry, absentee, or worthless. If I had watched the show before going on, perhaps I would have navigated that differently. I wasn't thinking about the machinations," Rachel noted.