Why I Won’t Be Watching "The Bachelor" Franchise Anymore

All of the shows that are a part of "The Bachelor" franchise are undeniably entertaining. The reality shows are engaging, dramatic and filled with attractive people. However, there is one thing that the shows have never been, and that's diverse. The contestants have become more diverse with the newer seasons of the shows, but most of the minority contestants never make it far enough on the shows to actually win or have a chance at being the Bachelor or Bachelorette.   

As a black woman, it is uncommon for me to see myself represented in the media. I am used to very few if any, black people being selected to be contestants on reality shows, and I know that if they are selected, producers tend to portray them as loud or aggressive. The ABC network has had its fair share of moments where they also fed into the stereotypes surrounding black people to attract viewers.

ABC selected the first black Bachelorette in 2017 after 12 seasons. Rachel Lindsay was their choice for Bachelorette, and initially, I was excited that she was chosen, but I quickly realized that her being chosen was not as big of a step towards diversity as I'd hoped. Her season was riddled with microaggressions and even featured a contestant who exhibited racist behavior. The producers were either negligent and didn't do their due diligence when doing background checks on contestants, or they thought adding a little racism would be good for ratings. Most of the contestants had not been in an interracial relationship prior to being on the show, and even some with good intentions ended up saying some offensive things.   

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Since Rachel's season, people on social media have exposed a number of contestants and even previous Bachelorettes for using racist language or having problematic views on certain social issues. ABC selecting people like that to be on their shows demonstrates that they have not truly put forth any real effort to ensure that minority cast members have a fair shot at finding love. The people that they are choosing to be on the show do not genuinely seem to be interested in being in a relationship with a person of color, as indicated by their actions. Putting minority contestants on the show without anyone there who would genuinely be interested in a relationship with them helps the franchise be perceived as diverse without actually taking any steps towards actual diversity. 

I had already decided to not continue to watch the show prior to Matt James being announced as the new bachelor for season 25, but that was just the icing on the cake. The timing of it all seems so convenient. They didn't feel inclined to choose a black man to be the bachelor for 24 whole seasons, but as soon as the country starts to protest racial injustice and inequality, they decide it's time to make a change. The change just seems inauthentic because it appears that James was chosen by ABC so that the franchise wouldn't receive backlash for their lack of diversity and inclusion. 

Quite frankly, I am tired of black people and other people of color just being used to meet a quota or make certain things be perceived as diverse. So that being said, let's have one last toast. We're toasting to never watching any of the shows in "The Bachelor" franchise again.