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The Bachelor franchise has been criticized by fans for its blatant whitewashing habit for years, so when Rachel Lindsay, a Black woman, was cast as the first-ever "Black Bachelorette" in 2017, it felt like maybe the popular dating show was catching up to the 21st century.
Turns out, many got their hopes up too soon. While the franchise has taken a tiny step forward with Lindsay's casting, it continues to favor white men for its flagship Bachelor show: ABC just announced Peter Weber as the next "bachelor" lead, and Lindsay isn't keeping quiet about her disappointment.
Fans of the last season of The Bachelorette were upset to learn that favorite Mike Johnson was not chosen to be the first Black Bachelor, and it appears as Lindsay shares their sentiments, wholeheartedly.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Lindsay said, while Weber seems like a fine guy, he's a predictable and uninteresting choice for the show at this juncture, especially for it to be entering its 24th season.
"I think Peter seems like a very nice guy. He seems lovely," she said. "This is absolutely nothing against him, but how many Peters have we seen before? What season are we on? 24. So, we've seen 24 Peters. I'm bored. And it's nothing personal against him."
Lindsay, who recently married Bryan Abasolo after accepting his proposal during her season's finale, added that she is sure Weber's season will do well, but that does not take away from the fact that it's time for more diversity in the leaders of the franchise.
"For the first time, I was very confident that we were going to see our first Black Bachelor," she said. "And so, if no one else is going to speak on it, then I guess it's my duty to say it... When you have a contestant like Mike Johnson, who seems to check all the boxes, how is he not the Bachelor? I don't understand. I'm sure they have some reason for not picking him, and I'm going to trust that, but at the same time, the system isn't working in giving us a Bachelor who is a person of color. So we need to change the system."
Weber's casting comes seven years after Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, two African-American football players, filed a class action lawsuit against The Bachelor on behalf of "all persons of color who have applied for the role of The Bachelor or Bachelorette but been denied the equal opportunity for selection on the basis of race." Though a judge later dismissed the suit, its concerns still remain.
It should be noted that while Peter Weber is half-Cuban, as Lindsay stressed, he that's not quite the leap in diversity many were hoping for.
(Photo: John Fleenor via Getty Images)