Former ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay says that ESPN host Sage Steele “Thrilled” that she did not choose a Black suitor during her season of the show.
Lindsay made history as the franchises first-ever Black Bachelorette. She ended up choosing Bryan Abasolo, who is Hispanic.
“I like Sage. She’s a woman of color who had a long career in the media and I’m aspiring to this but then I’m listening to you and the first thing you say to me is how thrilled you are that I didn’t choose Black,” Lindsay said on Van Lathan’s “Higher Learning” podcast. “And I’m like… who is this woman? Since then I’ve started to learn more about how problematic she can be.”
Steele faced backlash recently after she made several controversial remarks on former NFL star Jay Cutler’s podcast.
“If they make you choose a race, what are you gonna put? Well, both,” said Steele. “Barack Obama chose Black and he’s biracial…congratulations to the President, that’s his thing. I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad is nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him, but okay. You do you. I’m gonna do me. Listen, I’m pretty sure my white mom was there when I was born. And my white family loves me as much as my Black family.”
Steele has since offered an apology. She was pulled off air by the network but will return next week.
Lindsay has repeatedly spoken out about the franchise’s behind-the-scenes discrimination.
“The franchise has spent 19 years cultivating a toxic audience. They have constantly given it a product it wants: a Midwestern/Southern white, blonde, light-eyed Christian. Not all viewers are like that,” she wrote a recent article for New York Magazine. “My Higher Learning co-host and I have divided it – there is a Bachelor Nation, and there is a Bachelor Klan.”