Rachel Lindsay has taken fans behind the scenes of The Bachelor.
Amid the ongoing protests and civil unrest that have resulted from the killing of George Floyd, this franchise has been thrust into the spotlight.
On the entertainment side of things, that is.
Earlier this week, for example, a handful of fans launched The Bachelor Diversity Campaign, passing along a petition to push ABC to cast more people of color on future seasons.
Between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, there have been 40 seasons of this show…
… and one black lead.
As that black lead, Rachel Lindsay has been speaking out often in the wake of Floyd’s murder, outright saying that she’s ashamed to be connected to Bachelor Nation due to this lack of diversity.
Now, in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Lindsay delves back into this topic… by way of delving into whatever the heck happened with the previous Bachelor season.
Namely, why did producers select Peter Weber over Mike Johnson?!?
“I definitely asked,” Lindsay says of the reason behind executives NOT selecting Johnson.
“I was extremely vocal about Mike Johnson and how he checked all the boxes and it doesn’t make sense why he is not the lead. And it even seemed as if the audience wanted him.
“The audience was not into Peter.”
Johnson was a beloved contestant on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette.
He made it clear last September that he wanted to be The Bachelor, but Chris Harrison and company went with Weber instead.
The pilot went on to become one of the more polarizing stars in the history of the franchise, proposing to women and dumping women seemingly at will. Over and over and over again.
Was he really chosen because he’s white, though?
Or, to be more accurate perhaps, was Johnson not chosen because he’s black?
“I was told there was a reason. What that reason may be, I don’t know,” Lindsay says, hinting that producers told her their background research picked up on something in regard to Johnson.
“Maybe they can’t specifically tell me why they didn’t choose him. And I think if they could tell us, they would, because it just looks so bad that they didn’t pick him,” Lindsay adds.
“I mean, Michael Johnson was a gift. To me, it was an easy decision, but I’m not in the decision room.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight shortly after Weber’s casting was confirmed, Johnson said he had “no idea” why he wasn’t selected.
“I do agree with Rachel, that after 24 Bachelors, a black Bachelor should have been cast. But at the same time, ABC has been successful,” he said at the time.
“They know what they’re doing for their audience. They know what they’re looking for. I wasn’t the guy they were looking for at the moment.”
There will be another season, however.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to assume The Bachelor will return some time in early 2019.
And you better believe fans will be pissed if Johnson isn’t the man choosing from a set of lovely fiancee options.
Lindsay will at the front of this jeering line, too.
“Stop making excuses for the lack of diversity and take action to rectify the problem,” she said this week, addressing the franchise and adding:
“Diversify producers on the show to make your contestants of color feel more comfortable.
“Stop creating problematic story lines for people of color” and “make a statement acknowledging their systemic racism.”
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