Rachel Lindsay made “Bachelorette” history in 2017 as the first Black leading lady. However, as joyous as that might have been, Lindsay claims her experience on the show didn’t come without its hassles.
During a recent appearance on comedian Ziwe Fumudoh’s variety series on Showtime, the reality star spoke out against some of the diversity issues she claimed took place, including accusing the show’s producers of bringing on Black contestants that did not date Black women.
On the Monday, May 17 episode of “Ziwe,” when asked if she ever faced backlash for choosing a white partner, her now-husband, Colombian doctor Bryan Abasolo, Lindsay admitted it was something she “worried about before I went on the show.” All three of the Black bachelors and bachelorettes have all ended up with white partners, including the most recent Matt James— whose season was engulfed in a racism scandal — and Tayshia Adams.
“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,” Lindsay 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.’ ” However, Lindsay expressed frustrations over “how unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren’t.” She noted that it was also “a casting issue.”
The 36-year-old accused producers of misusing a scene where she had an emotional breakdown when she said she was actually crying about the selection of men. That’s when she also learned that “several of the Black men on my season didn’t date Black women.”
The “Higher Learning” podcast co-host said that when she confronted producers about the issue, they said they found that element to be “interesting.” Lindsay recalled firing back, “You think that’s interesting?” She added, “That’s my life. I live that.”
Lindsay, who’s often been very vocal about how producers on the show handled race and diversity, recently decided that it was time to part ways with the series. She told host Ziwe that although she is still contractually bonded to the franchise, she is very excited about a future where she no longer has to deal with the brand.
Earlier this month, the reality star announced her departure from the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast. At the time, Lindsay said, “We know I have this love-hate relationship, but I am thankful for the opportunity to do this podcast, and it has been so great and so much fun.” She added, “I feel like you [co-host Becca Kufrin], and I have made an impact in “Bachelor” Nation, which is something we both stand for and we always wanna do.”