Rachel Lindsay Says She's 'Embarrassed' by Bachelor Franchise

"I have to see some type of change," Rachel Lindsay said

Sports Illustrated Fashionable 50 - Arrivals
Photo: David Livingston/Getty

Rachel Lindsay is disappointed in The Bachelor franchise's lack of diversity.

During a recent interview with AfterBuzz — in the wake of the killing of George Floyd — Lindsay, who is the first and only black lead in the history of the ABC franchise, revealed that she would not want to continue in the franchise if changes aren't made.

"When you're putting out something that is very white washed 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."

"I don't know how you don't," Lindsay, 34, continued. "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," Lindsay shared.

Lindsay explained that she's embarrassed to be a part of a community with very few faces of color.

"It's ridiculous. It's embarrassing. At this point it's embarrassing to be affiliated with it," Lindsay added.

Lindsay has been openly critical of The Bachelor franchise, previously saying that it "doesn't reflect the real world."

In an interview with the Associated Press, conducted on Sept. 9 and published after the WTA special, Lindsay said that she thinks “diversity” is currently the franchise’s biggest problem.

“My biggest thing, and I almost feel like it’s a responsibility for me being their only lead of color, to step out and speak about that,” said Lindsay — who married Bryan Abasolo in August 2019. “If I could change one thing, it’s the show doesn’t reflect the real world.”

Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo
Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo. Dominik Bindl/Getty

“You’re just now having in Bachelor in Paradise your same-sex relationship and they had to bring someone who wasn’t a cast member on the show in to make that happen,” Lindsay added, referring to BiP season 6 stars Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty, who became the first same-sex couple in the franchise’s history before they eventually split.

“The girls all look the same way,” she continued. “My first reaction to when somebody said ‘You should be on The Bachelor,’ I said ‘Black people don’t go far on that show.’ We laughed about it but it’s actually true."

“I would have women of all ages,” she said. “I mean, there has to be a cut-off point, but I’d have women of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities. I would change it completely.”

“I’m hopeful that if enough people continue to speak out that — I’m not going to be quiet, and I’m probably the only lead that’s bold enough to speak out and say something,” Lindsay continued. “But I feel like it’s my responsibility. It’s part of the reason why I said yes to doing the show. Because it gave me an opportunity for the audience to see someone who has never had this position in this franchise before. That is the main reason I said yes to the show, so why am I gonna stop now?”

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