“The Bachelor” has exclusively tapped Jodi Baskerville as its first-ever Black executive producer.
The appointment comes months after former host Chris Harrison was forced to exit the show after defending a white contestant’s racist past.
According to Variety, Baskerville has been with “The Bachelor” franchise for nearly ten years and will begin her role as executive producer on season 18 of “The Bachelorette,” which recently began production and premieres this fall.
The news comes to the same week former contestant Tayshia Adams, who is Black, and Michelle Young, who identifies as BIPOC, were announced as co-hosts of the upcoming season.
While it’s obviously great news for Baskerville, the timing of her new appointment has raised more than a few eyebrows. For years, the franchise has been called out for its lack of diversity. More recently, it has tried to shake its shaky reputation.
In 2017, Rachel Lindsay made history when she became the show’s first Black “Bachelorette.” The show was already into its thirteenth season.
Last year, Matt James became the first Black Bachelor. Unfortunately, despite the show attempting to turn over a new leaf, scandal hit after contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s racially insensitive social media photos resurfaced online.
Harrison begged for Kirkconnell to be met with “grace” and “understanding” of “this poor girl, Rachael.” He then called out, “the woke police.”
“After my interview with Harrison, I thought, This is a charade at this point. If the person who has been representative of your show for nearly two decades thinks this way, what does it say about the rest of it?” Lindsay told New York Magazine of the fallout. “I couldn’t even pretend to want to be involved anymore. I didn’t want to give people a reason to talk about me because everything I was saying was becoming a headline. And so I decided to remove myself from it all.”
Can the franchise finally get it right?