Bachelor Nation Is Demanding Anti-Racism In the Franchise, and Alums Are Getting Behind It

If you’re watching The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable — Ever! plumb the archives for Bachelor Nation’s most emotional (and embarrassing) moments, you’ll notice the elephant in the room making itself all the more apparent: In 40 seasons over 18 years, there’s been only one (1!!!) Black lead cast in a Bachelor franchise.

So, yeah. It’s ridiculous. It’s always been ridiculous. So is Bachelor Nation finally going to stand up and do something about it? Maybe now—a petition, titled “A Campaign for Anti-Racism in the Bachelor Franchise,” was started in early June, and has made enough rounds on social media to grab the attention of former stars Tyler Cameron, Rachel Lindsay, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Lauren Burnham, Seinne Fleming, Nicole Lopez-Alvar, Nick Viall, Diggy Moreland and more, who each have thrown their support behind the cause. Thousands of signatures have poured in over a matter of days.

The petition demands that ABC and Warner Bros. do the following:

But the petition doesn’t let Bachelor fans off the hook, either. The movement demands viewers end their complicity in the show’s racism. It asks all who sign the petition to:

The petition arrives in the middle of global protests against police brutality and racism, as well as recent comments from former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, the only Black lead cast in the show’s history. In an interview with AfterBuzz, she said, “It’s been asked of me will I continue in this franchise if it continues this way. I can’t. 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.”

But the promises from Bach higher-ups have been, uh, lukewarm at best. In January, Bachelor executive producer Martin Hilton told Entertainment Tonight that diversity is something the franchise is working to improve…”in an organic way.” “We’re trying to figure out how to do that better,” he added.

He told the publication that the Bachelor franchise has “no quota” for diversity, and that “it’s getting harder and harder, by the way, to find people who are really authentically there [to find love].” Which seems to insinuate there are no Black contestants to choose from who are “authentically” interested? Sorry, not buying it.

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