Newly appointed chief Channing Dungey addressed the franchise's diversity issue head-on

By Mariah Haas
August 04, 2016 04:05 PM
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Bachelor franchise is continuing to address its diversity issue.

“I would very much like to see some changes there,” ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey told reporters during the network’s Television Critics Association presentation on Thursday.

Dungey, who stepped into her current role earlier this year, continued, “I think one of the biggest changes that we need to do is we need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning because part of what ends up happening as we go along is that there just aren’t as many candidates to ultimately end up in the role of the next Bachelor or Bachelorette so that is something we really want to put some effort and energy towards.”

During the Bachelor‘s 20 seasons and The Bachelorette‘s 12, there has only been one non-white lead, American-born Venezuelan Juan Pablo Galavis. In 2012, the network was also sued for alleged racial discrimination.

When asked if they could just pick a candidate, Dungey, 47, replied: “We could.”

However, she noted that “the show has been very much in a cycle where the first runner-up in one cycle becomes the person who leads the next cycle.”

“It’s worked very well for us because the audience feels really engaged in helping to choose that candidate,” she added. “So I think what we would like to try to do is just widen the pool choices.”