The most recent season of The Bachelorette may have made history, but that didn't do much for ratings. Rachel Lindsay was the first ever Black Bachelorette to star on the show, and was smart, funny, and extremely up to task. However, BuzzFeed reported that the ratings of the first five episodes took a hit compared to the first five episodes of the season prior — 5.7 million viewers versus 6.7 million, to be exact. Creator Mike Fleiss blames this on Trump.
"I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way," he told the New York Times about this dip in viewership. "How else are you going to explain the fact that she’s down in the ratings, when — Black or white — she was an unbelievable bachelorette? It revealed something about our fans."
Lindsay had to confront her fair share of racism both on and off the show. One of the contestants, Lee Garrett, was called out for racism by the fellow suitors, and fans later stumbled upon racist tweets from the contestant. Lindsay also clapped back after a tweet from former Bachelor contestant Leah Block, which read "I'm sitting here watching @BacheloretteABC and my roommate just sat down on the couch and said, 'What is this? @LoveAndHipHop_?' DEAD."
It's worth keeping in mind, however, that this dip in ratings isn't exclusive to The Bachelorette. The current season of The Bachelor, featuring white straight man Arie Luyendyk Jr, also underperformed, ratings from its January 1 premiere dropping 29% from last year's January 2 date, which many blame on competition with The Rose Bowl.
However, none of this has discouraged Fleiss. In fact, he's more inspired that ever to keep Bachelor Nation diverse.
"I’m raring to try it again," he told the outlet regarding the possibility of another nonwhite lead. "I think it’s important."
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