A petition was launched on the same day of the new season premiere, calling for diverse casting on The Bachelor and all its spin-offs
Anyone who’s watched more than a season or two of The Bachelor and all its spin-offs knows this: The show is painfully, blindingly white. And now, amid protests and a massive calling for our nation to grapple with its racism and inequality, some of the franchise’s biggest stars are joining the fight.
On Monday, which was also the premiere date for the newest spin-off, The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons — Ever!, fans and past stars launched a campaign to demand casting on the show that’s more reflective of what America actually looks like — no more of these majority white casts with a small handful of token BIPOC contestants.
Monday, June 8th, join others in Bachelor Nation as we launch a Bachelor Diversity campaign asking ABC to consistently cast BIPOC.
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) June 5, 2020
The campaign includes a petition asking for the next lead on The Bachelor to be BIPOC. The show has been running for 40 seasons, and there has not been a single Black Bachelor. Rachel Lindsay, a Black woman, was the lead on one season of The Bachelorette in 2017.
“We have now casted [sic] for 40 seasons—even though they haven’t started Clare [Crawley’s],” Lindsay tells Page Six. “There’s been one person of color in 40 seasons. We have 45 presidents. There has been one person of color. We are literally on par to saying that you are more likely to become the president of the United States than you are to be the lead of this franchise. That is insane.”
Stars like Nick Viall, Kaitlyn Bristowe, and Ashley Spivey have been quick to show their support for the campaign.
It’s easy to make a statement, but actions speak louder than words. Join me in demanding that @ABCNetwork and @BachelorABC back their statements with action in their representation of BIPOC leads and casting. #bachelornation #BIPOCBachelor #TheBachelorGOAT https://t.co/dokRz15yyW
— Ashley Spivey (@AshleySpivey) June 8, 2020
Singed, I encourage you all to do the same. https://t.co/9DaOACffe3
— Nick Viall (@viallnicholas28) June 8, 2020
Signed ❤️ https://t.co/tMar04liKH
— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) June 9, 2020
Diggy Moreland, one of the show’s more recent Black cast members, shared the petition while writing, “I can’t believe we have to FORCEFULLY ask them for this…”
— Diggy Moreland (@diggymoreland) June 8, 2020
Lindsay has also reportedly put producers on notice that she will refuse any future appearances for the franchise until a BIPOC lead is cast on The Bachelor.
Thank you, @bachdiversity. Diversifying the cast diversifies the audience, which creates a community with open doors — one that invites viewers of all backgrounds, ethnicities, & ages to experience @BachelorABC, and to even apply themselves. #BIPOCBachelor https://t.co/Ul2F5WMbgV
— Nicole Lopez-Alvar (@nicolelovar) June 8, 2020
At this point, there’s really no excuse for this show to be casting exclusively white leads. There have been a number of extremely popular Black contestants to choose from, including Mike Johnson, who was a fan favorite who viewers hoped would be Bachelor, before Peter Weber was cast instead. Part of the problem is that the show historically chooses its lead from its pool of past contestants, and with only a small handful of BIPOC contestants each season, it’s clear that this is a systemic problem that will require major changes to how the show is cast to be truly addressed.
Fans are currently pushing for Matt James, who is Tyler Cameron’s best friend, to be the first Black lead on the next season. James was set to appear as a contestant on Clare Crawley’s upcoming Bachelorette season, but after the two got into a heated Twitter exchange, James’ future on the spin-off has been less certain. As Bachelor, though? We’d love to see it.
— Mac Cole (@fleetwoodmacole) March 11, 2020