Rachel Lindsay Says The Bachelorette Cast Black Men Who "Didn't Date Black Women"

Rachel Lindsay claims the show "found it interesting" the Black contestants "didn't date Black women." She recalled telling them, "I said, 'You think that's interesting. That's my life. I live that.'"

By Alyssa Morin May 19, 2021 9:21 PMTags
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Rachel Lindsay continues to shine more light on her Bachelorette experience.

The 36-year-old attorney, who made history as the first-ever Black lead in The Bachelor franchise in 2017, recently opened up about the ABC dating show's diversity issues both on and off camera.

On Monday, May 17, Rachel appeared on Ziwe Fumudoh's new variety series on Showtime, in which the host wanted to know if The Bachelorette alum ever faced backlash for choosing Bryan Abasolo, who is now her husband, in the end.

"All three of the Black Bachelors and Bachelorettes have ended up with partners who are not of color," Ziwe noted, referencing Rachel, as well as Tayshia Adams and Matt James, who each gave their final roses to contestants, Zac Clark and Rachael Kirkconnell.

To note: Rachael's father is Honduran and Bryan is Colombian.

"It's something I was worried about before I went on the show," Rachel admitted. "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."

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However, she explained just "how unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren't."

As she described, "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.'"

Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

The Texas native also claimed Bachelor Nation has a "casting issue."

It's something she said she witnessed firsthand on her season of The Bachelorette.  

"There was a point where I broke down on camera, and they used my tears for something else, but I was getting upset at the selection of men of color," Rachel shared, adding, "I also learned as I was going through my season that several of the Black men on my season didn't date Black women."

When Ziwe asked to "unpack" her statement, Rachel replied, "The show found it interesting. 'Wow, this guy's never dated a Black woman before.' And I said, 'You think that's interesting. That's my life. I live that.'"

"That's why I'm speaking out that you don't need to diversify just your cast and your leads," Rachel explained. "You need to diversify the people behind the camera."

Paul Hebert/ABC

Over the years, Rachel has been vocal about wanting to see changes within The Bachelor franchise.

Back in February, she spoke to E! News about Chris Harrison's decision to temporarily step away from Bachelor Nation following his controversial remarks, which were in regards to Bachelor contestant Rachael's past racially insensitive photos. At the time, both Chris and Rachael issued apologies.

"I think the bigger picture is that there is an issue," Rachel expressed, "And Chris is recognizing it, other people are recognizing and I think if my message is to really make change and to really create a level of awareness, then I can't be focused on trying to take somebody else's job. I am just focused on really us getting to a place of unity where we can all be better."

She continued, "I think the only way real change will happen is if the people who are making the decision—they all look the same—so hopefully having somebody of color in the decision room, who has some power, who can help not just diversify and include more, but also understand, who come from these experiences as well."

E! News has reached out to ABC for comment on Rachel's claims. However, we have yet to receive a response.

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