"I would hope in the future that never happens again," Rachel Lindsay said

By Eric Todisco
June 18, 2020 09:29 AM
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Rachel Lindsay is addressing acts of racism she experienced during her season of The Bachelorette.

The reality star, 35, shared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Wednesday that she was subject to racist attacks when she became the ABC franchise's first black lead in 2017.

"From the audience. I definitely experienced it," Lindsay said. "More so when it came to picking the men, and then at the end, my husband is Colombian, so I got a lot of racism towards the fact that we were in an interracial relationship. Just a lot of nasty messages, trolling."

Lindsay, who married Bryan Abasolo, the winner of her season, last year, revealed to Cohen that she "did have a racist contestant on my season" — but refrained from revealing his identity.

"Which is one of the things that I'm fighting for for Matt James as the first black Bachelor, for them to do a better job at vetting contestants," she explained. "You need a person of color in the decision room making decisions so that doesn't happen to them."

Credit: Watch What Happens Live/YouTube

The Texas native also said that the Bachelorette producers "didn't do a good job at vetting out" the unnamed contestant who was allegedly racist.

"But I would hope in the future that never happens again," she said. "It's a storyline that shouldn't happen."

Lindsay has been an outspoken figure in Bachelor Nation, often addressing the lack of diversity. Earlier this month, Lindsay said in an interview with AfterBuzz that she would no longer continue in the franchise if changes aren't made.

"When you're putting out something that is very whitewashed and doesn't have any type of color in it and you're not trying to be effective and change that ... I think that they have to at this point, give us a black Bachelor for season 25," Lindsay said.

"I don't know how you don't," she added. "It's been asked of me will I continue in this franchise if it continues this way, I can't."

After ABC named Matt James the first black Bachelor last week, Lindsay expressed both excitement and disappointment when discussing the decision on Juliet Litman's podcast Bachelor Party.

"Don't get me wrong, it is lovely that there is a black Bachelor. It is great, but let's get in to the but," said Lindsay.

"The fact that there are a list of things I have requested and this petition that's on Change.org, and the bare minimum was done, which seems to be so simple, right? Just give us a black Bachelor? That's what you do? It's a Band-Aid. It's the easiest thing to me that you can do and I hate that it's in response — or it seems like a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in our society, what happened with George Floyd and the pressure that you're getting from society," she said.

Lindsay pointed out that it's as though "a man had to die in such a gruesome and public way for us to get a black Bachelor."

"That's what it feels like. That's the reaction," she added.