*Former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay broke racial barriers when she became the first black woman to lead a season in the franchise. And now, she’s not sure if it will ever happen again.
“I don’t think Bachelor Nation is ready for the diversity of a lead … an African American lead,” the Dallas-based lawyer, who was celebrating her 33rd birthday with her fiancé at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, told Us Weekly about where she believes the ABC series stands in terms of racial diversity. “I think there’ll be an [African American] man before there’ll be another woman.”
Her fiance, Bryan Abasolo, whom she met and got engaged to in season 13, agrees. “I think there definitely needs to be more diversity on the show,” Abasolo, 38, told Us.“Whether America is ready for it, that’s yet to be seen.”
Lindsay chimed in, “It’s not America, it’s Bachelor Nation.”
“I don’t think that there would have been two black Bachelorettes in a row,” she continued noting that Sienne Fleming from Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season would’ve been a great choice. “I just don’t think the nation … I mean look at the ratings from the season.” Lindsay added that her ratings were “significantly lower than Jojo’s,” the season prior.
Though Lindsay says she didn’t personally face racial backlash on social media, her fiance noted 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,” Abasolo said. “I think she represented the African American community beautifully.”