For years, many people have wondered when there would be a black bachelor or bachelorette on ABC’s popular dating show. Well, probably not many people. But just in case you’re one of those who were wondering, meet 31-year-old attorney Rachel Lindsay, the first black woman to be cast as the next bachelorette.
“I’m happy to represent myself as a black woman in front of America, and I’m happy for America to rally behind me and see what it’s like for me to be on this journey to find love,” Lindsay, 31, told People magazine. “Honestly, it’s not going to be that different from any other season of The Bachelorette.”
So you don’t say? I’ll just wait for some of the cringeworthy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner moments, because we all know not everyone is down with interracial dating.
“I’m obviously nervous and excited to take on this opportunity, but I don’t feel added pressure being the first black bachelorette, because to me, I’m just a black woman trying to find love. Yes, I’m doing [it] on this huge stage, but again, my journey of love isn’t any different just because my skin color is.”
I wonder if the casting will take on a different “color,” too. In previous years, there weren’t too many black men or women vying for the attention of a bachelor or bachelorette.
This isn’t Lindsay’s first time at the rodeo. She received a first-impression rose from The Bachelor’s Nick Viall during the current 21st season.
Last year, ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey, the first African American to head programming at a major broadcast network, said she was striving for the network to have a bigger commitment when it came to diversity, especially on the dating show.
“I would very much like to see some changes there. And I think one of the biggest changes that we need to do is … increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning, because part of what ends up happening as we go along is there just aren’t as many candidates to ultimately end up in the role of the next bachelor or bachelorette,” Dungey said.
“The show has been very much in a cycle where the first runner-up in one cycle becomes the person who leads the next cycle, and it’s worked very well for us because the audience feels really engaged in helping to choose that candidate, so I think what we would like to try to do is just widen the pool of choices,” she continued.
I’m just going to sit back and wait for someone to come up with a Tinder version of a dating show; after 21 seasons, the dating series world needs “something new.” Lindsay’s season premieres May 22.