Lack of Diversity in the Bachelor Franchise, and How it Needs to Change

And your next Bachelor is…another straight white male. Over the years, men and women have won America’s heart through the reality TV Bachelor franchise. For those of you who don’t know, The Bachelor is a show where 30 women compete for one man’s heart, with an engagement at the end of the show. The Bachelorette takes a woman who was a fan favorite and finds a fiancé from 30 guys. Finally, Bachelor in Paradise takes the fan favorites, as well as the “villains” from each show and puts them together on an island for them to find love. I don’t know what it is, but apparently, this show is fun to watch, for me and for the millions of fans who call themselves ‘Bachelor nation.’ However, despite the growing fan base, there are so many problems with these shows, one of them being the lack of diversity.

During Hannah Brown’s season of the Bachelorette, as well as Bachelor in paradise, many people believed that front runner Mike Johnson was going to be the next Bachelor. He stole many hearts, including mine, with his beautiful smile and his kind words. This would have made him the first black Bachelor in the history of the franchise. Everybody was wishing and hoping it would happen, that during the Paradise tell-all, the segment where all the contestants came back on the show to talk about their experiences, Mike Johnson would be announced as the next Bachelor. Unfortunately, many Bachelor nation fans, my roommates and I included, were disappointed when Peter Weber, a contestant on Hannah’s season as well, was the next Bachelor. What made it even worse was how Chris Harrison, host of the franchise shows, said that Peter was UNLIKE ANY OTHER BACHELOR THEY’VE HAD. Why? Because HE LIVED NEAR THE FLIPPING BACHELOR MANSION. Who’d have thought that you needed a fun fact like that to be different than everyone else?

There have been 23 seasons of the Bachelor and 15 seasons of the Bachelorette. Out of all the 23 seasons, they were all white men. It’s 2019 and although the Bachelor franchise is slightly moving towards being more diverse, it’s not even close to enough. In season 13, Rachel Lindsay was named the Bachelorette, making her the first black Bachelorette in franchise history. She went on to be engaged to and eventually marry, Bryan Abasolo, a Colombian-American man. They are the first interracial couple to get married from this show. Even recently, in Bachelor in Paradise, the show introduced their first same-sex couple, Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty. Although they did break up, and Kristian wasn’t a part of the franchise in the first place, they were a couple in Paradise, and it even led to an engagement.

The Bachelor franchise is kind of making strides, but it’s also confusing to me why they treat Bachelor in Paradise more different than the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. If we can have a same-sex couple on Paradise, why can’t we have one the Bachelor or the Bachelorette? 

Sure, I get it, the main goal of this show is to fulfill everyone’s daily dose of drama and to get high ratings, but in all honesty, things need to change. Reality TV is growing by the minute every single day. It’s time, especially in the society that we’re living in, that we get more diversity and more representation in all genres of television.