Rachel Lindsay spilled some hot Bachelorette tea during her appearance on Showtime’s Ziwe on Sunday night. When comedian Ziwe Fumudoh asked Lindsay if she faced any backlash for ending up with a white suitor during her season, a move that the other Black leads followed as well, the reality star admitted it was something she was worried about.
“I think I got a little bit more grace because I was the first and people were just excited that a person of color was in this role,” she said. “But then I think when the next person chose someone that wasn’t Black, and then by the time we got to the third one it was like, you know what, they’re just not going to choose anybody that’s Black.”
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Lindsay served as The Bachelor franchise’s first-ever Black lead in 2017 and ended the show with her now-husband, Bryan Abasolo. Tayshia Adams, the second Black Bachelorette, and Matt James, the first Black Bachelor of the franchise, both chose white partners as well. James called it quits with Rachael Kirkconnell after a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell of previously bullying her for dating Black men. Then, another user accused her of liking racist photos. Photos also surfaced of her at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. Kirkconnell has since apologized, and the two have reconciled.
Lindsay said that she believes the backlash is largely due to “how unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren’t.” But she also acknowledged that the problem has to do with “casting” as well.
The former lead, who has always been vocal about the franchise’s severe lack of diversity, recalled that there was a point during her season where she broke down in tears “at the selection of men of color.”
“I also learned as I was going through my season that several of the Black men on my season didn’t date Black women,” she said. Lindsay alleged that the producers “found it interesting” to purposely cast Black men who had never dated Black women before her. “I said, ‘You think that’s interesting? That’s my life. I live that.'”
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The former attorney has said that she’s ready to distance herself from the franchise when her contract is up. She has since stepped away from the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast and announced her forthcoming memoir, Miss Me With That.
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