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The Bachelorette Breaking Barriers

From the first night on this season of The Bachelor, Rachel Lindsay captured the hearts of the American public and of Nick Viall, this season’s bachelor. Viall gave Lindsay the coveted first impression rose on the season premier, but a shocking announcement on February 13, gave fans the spoiler that Lindsay would not be the winner of this season.  

Unlike most spoilers of reality TV, this announcement had a purpose: to reveal that Lindsay would be the bachelorette in season 13 of the show. Not only was this the first time in franchise history to announce the next bachelor or bachelorette before the end of the season, but more importantly it is the first time that the lead of the show is black. The Bachelor franchise has been criticized for its lack of diversity in past seasons, especially in casting the lead. Up until this season of The Bachelor, a black contestant has never lasted longer than five weeks. In 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 12 seasons of The Bachelorette, the only non-white main role was given to Juan Pablo Galavis, who is Latino, in 2013.  

In 2012, the franchise became the target of a class action lawsuit for under-representing minorities, but the case was dismissed by a judge, who cited it was the show’s First Amendment right to cast whomever they wanted. Now in 2017, the franchise will have its first black lead, a huge step in the right direction towards breaking the barriers of race in the show.

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