Rachel Lindsay Claims The Bachelorette Purposefully Cast Black Men Who 'Didn't Date Black Women'
Rachel Lindsay said she "broke down" at one point during her season over the "selection of men of color"
The reality star, who was the first Black Bachelorette back in 2017, appeared on comedian Ziwe Fumudoh's new variety show on Monday, during which Ziwe asked about whether Lindsay has ever faced backlash for ending up with a white man — husband Bryan Abasolo.
"All three of the Black Bachelors and Bachelorettes have ended up with partners who are not of color," Ziwe said, referencing Lindsay, as well as Matt James and Tayshia Adams, who are respectively dating and engaged to the white partners they met while on the reality series.
"It's something I was worried about before I went on the show," said Lindsay, 36. "I think I got a little bit more grace because I was the first and people were just excited that a person of color was in this role."
She continued, "But then I think when the next person chose someone that wasn't Black, and then by the time we got to the third one it was like 'you know what they're just not going to choose anybody that's Black.'"
Lindsay said she thinks any backlash speaks to "how unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren't," but added that it's also "a casting issue."
"There was a point where I broke down on camera, and they used my tears for something else, but I was getting upset at the selection of men of color," she said. "I also learned as I was going through my season that several of the Black men on my season didn't date Black women."
When the host asked for more information, Lindsay said the show's producers "found it interesting" to choose Black men who had never dated a Black woman.
"I said 'You think that's interesting? That's my life. I live that,'" Lindsay recalled.
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The star has long been vocal about issues of racism in Bachelor Nation. Earlier this year, she said she had "had enough" with the franchise amid the controversy surrounding the show and longtime host Chris Harrison during James' season.
The controversy arose when contestant Rachael Kirkconnell was called out for past racially insensitive social media posts which saw her dressed in Native American attire in costume and attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. (She has since apologized.)
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Harrison, 49, addressed the situation during an interview with Lindsay on Extra. During their 14-minute, unedited conversation, he said people should have "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" in the wake of the resurfaced photos and questioned the "lens" of 2021 compared to 2018.
Following an outcry online, he issued a statement apologizing and announced he would be stepping away from the franchise for a period of time. Days after his initial comments, though, Lindsay called Harrison into question for his remarks and said she plans on leaving the franchise once her contract is up.
"I can't take it anymore," Lindsay said on her podcast, Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay. "I'm contractually bound in some ways, but when it's up, I am, too. I can't. I can't do it anymore."