In a move that has been a long, long, long time coming, The Bachelorette has finally cast its first black lead. Rachel Lindsay, a 31-year-old lawyer from Texas, was announced on Monday night as the next Bachelorette to hope to find love on reality TV.
Lindsay will be the first black lead in the history of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The lawyer from Dallas will have her pick of men for the 13th season of The Bachelorette, when it premieres on May 22. As for The Bachelor, the series is currently in its 21st season and has yet to cast a black lead, with only one non-white Bachelor in the shows’ history (Venezuelan-American Juan Pablo Galavis was the Bachelor for Season 18).
The announcement of Lindsay’s upcoming residency as the new Bachelorette comes at a surprising time, with Lindsay still in the running on the current season of The Bachelor. So, I guess we know how that love story ends. It’s possible that ABC, who air The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, were trying to get ahead of possible online spoilers by spoiling the announcement themselves.
Host Chris Harrison and Lindsay appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night to confirm the announcement, with Kimmel stating the obvious during his interview with Lindsay, saying “This is a bit of a spoiler, because you’re still on the show.”
Lindsay agreed, saying “We’re a couple weeks out from filming, I’m ready to get this started and ready to find love and a husband. If you know anybody out there who needs to apply, sign up!”
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have both been criticized over the years for their lack of diversity. The Lifetime series UnReal, which is based on a reality dating show similar to The Bachelor, cast a black bachelor in its second season, shining a spotlight on ABC’s issue with a predominately white cast on both dating competitions.
The Bachelor first aired in 2002, with its spinoff The Bachelorette premiering in 2003. It’s now 2017 and we’re finally getting a black lead.