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Could We Actually See a Racially Diverse ‘Bachelor’ Soon?

It doesn’t take genius to figure out that we’re fully obsessed with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. But that doesn’t mean there are some issues with the franchise that we haven’t noticed. One of the most glaring problems? The severe lack of diversity. Juan Pablo Galavis, the show’s most hated Bachelor, is still the only non-white lead in the history of the franchise, but we wouldn’t necessarily call him… diverse.

But it turns out things might actually start to change. Channing Dungey, who joined ABC as its president this February, said this week that the network is working on diversifying the show. During the Television Critics Association press tour this week, she said, “I would very much like to see some change there, and I think one of the biggest changes that we need to do is we need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning. Because part of what ends up happening as we go along is that there just aren’t as many candidates to ultimately end up in the role of the next Bachelor or Bachelorette. So that’s something we really want to put some effort and energy towards.”

Clearly, the current format isn’t working—so why doesn’t ABC just bring in someone completely new as the Bachelor? “We could,” Dungey said of the idea, but added that the current format seems to be working for the success of the show. It makes sense; viewers are more emotionally invested when the show’s lead is someone they’ve watched on the previous season. “What we’d like to try to do is just widen the pool of faces,” Dungey added.

Of course, we’ve been promised diversity on the show before. Before JoJo Fletcher was officially cast as the Bachelorette, we heard rumors that Caila Quinn, one of the runners-up on Ben Higgins’ season, would take the reins as the new Bachelorette. “I’d be very surprised if ‘The Bachelorette’ in the summer isn’t diverse,” Paul Lee, an ABC exec, teased. As well all know, that didn’t actually happen—so while we’re glad to hear diversity is on ABC’s radar, we’re going to hold our praise until we actually see change.

Alice is the Senior Associate Editor at Her Campus. She graduated from Emory University in 2012 as an English major and a Dance minor. Before joining Her Campus, she was an associate editor at Lucky Magazine. She is currently located in Salt Lake City, UT, where she spends her free time rescuing orphaned kittens, whose lives are documented on Instagram at @thekittensquad! You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @alicefchen.