Rachel Lindsay on Her ‘Bachelor’ Franchise Experience: ‘I Realized I Was Their Token’

by Shine My Crown Staff
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Rachel Lindsay made “Bachelor” history when she became the first Black “Bachelorette” in the history of the show in 2017.

The announcement was cause for celebration. At the time, Lindsay welcomed the frenzy attached to her history-making role… but just four years on, her feelings about it all have drastically changed.

In an op-ed for Vulture, Lindsay wrote about her experience with the show. And it’s safe to say things didn’t start off on the right foot. Lindsay appeared on Nick’s season. She wasn’t chosen by Nick.

However, when the network decided they wanted to travel down a more diverse route — they immediately thought of Lindsay.

“An insider later told me they had been thinking of me as the first Black Bachelorette way back during my audition. At the time, there had been a shift in leadership at ABC. Channing Dungey, who is a Black woman, had just taken over as president,” she writes.

“At the TV upfronts, she said, “There will be a lead of color while I’m here. I’m making it my priority.” They didn’t say this part, but it couldn’t be a man. A Black man going into the homes of white women and sleeping with their daughters is a narrative the audience still can’t accept. They’re protecting them from that, as we saw with the Matt James season — they didn’t even show him waking up with Rachael after their fantasy-suite episode, during which the lead spends the night with a finalist. So it had to be a Black woman.”

Lindsay was selected. However, the Rachael Kirkconnell antebellum party controversy proved once again that the change was all surface. Lindsay says she’s turned her back on Bachelor Nation once and for all.

She says she’s done with being their “token” Black girl.

“I’m no longer making myself available to The Bachelor universe (though any contestant, past, future, or present, who needs my advice can call me). To the franchise, I am no longer a figurehead,” says Lindsay. “I am no longer a spot-filler. I am no longer the face of what is diverse. The goal for me was always to be that person until I could step away because the change had happened, and I could sit back and enjoy it.”

Read the entire essay over at Vulture.

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