Rachel Lindsay was The Bachelorette's first black leading lady. A lot of people were troubled that it took until Season 13 for that to happen.
Now, Rachel is engaged, but she's not optimistic about the chances of seeing another black Bachelorette in the near future.
Why? Because, well, the viewers are racist.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Rachel Lindsay shares her doubts about the next black Bachelorette lead.
"I don’t think Bachelor Nation is ready for the diversity of a lead … an African American lead."
That is ... so heartbreaking to hear.
Rachel does clarify that she thinks that there will be leads of color in the future, but she says:
"I think there’ll be an [African American] man before there’ll be another woman."
That is, unfortunately, what happens in a culture where white (among other things) is treated as "default."
Her fiancee, Bryan Abasolo, adds:
"I think there definitely needs to be more diversity on the show."
That is something that a number of fans have called four.
The surplus of Laurens on the last season of The Bachelor really illustrated how homogenous the casts can be.
Bryan says: "Whether America is ready for it, that’s yet to be seen."
Rachel interjects, saying that she has more concerns about the franchise's fanbase than she does about overall American culture.
"It’s not America; it’s Bachelor Nation."
Rachel explains that, even if Arie's brutal breakup had never happened, whoever would have been the lead in Becca Kufrin's stead would not have been black.
"I don’t think that there would have been two black Bachelorettes in a row."
And she can point to exactly why.
"I just don’t think the nation … I mean look at the ratings from the season."
Her season's ratings, she says, were "significantly lower than Jojo’s."
That is heartbreaking.
Rachel says that she didn't see racist trolling against her on social media ... which is totally believable, if she has never once checked her mentions from people she doesn't already follow.
Bryan admits that he "definitely saw it."
"There was a lot of backlash in terms of race for her, and I think she handled herself with such grace and elegance and pride."
Remember, there was even a racist guy on her season -- though not for long.
"I think she represented the African American community beautifully."
That she did.
Racial representation is not and has never been a strong suit of The Bachelor.
Are so many members of the Bachelor Nation truly so very racist that they just won't tune in to watch a black woman find love?
We'd love to believe that there's another culprit.
But Rachel brings up a great point. And something has to change.
For that matter, many in the Bachelor Nation have wanted diversity in other ways. A Bachelor or Bachelorette. A trans Bachelor or Bachelorette.
And let's not forget that racial diversity isn't limited to the African American community.
Representation is important.
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