The former Bachelorette and her reality TV winner fiancé still think that ABC's famous franchise has a long way to go in terms of diversity.
Rachel Lindsay made history when she became the first Black Bachelorette, but simply having one woman of color as the lead on the reality television series does not an inclusive, diverse franchise make. In her Us Weekly interview alongside fiancé Bryan Abasolo, Lindsay admitted that she didn't think the franchise would have another African American woman as the Bachelorette anytime soon.
"I don’t think that there would have been two Black Bachelorettes in a row... I just don’t think the nation… I mean look at the ratings from the season," Lindsay told Us Weekly, referring to the dip in ratings the ABC series faced during her season from the previous one.
When Abasolo noted that perhaps America isn't "ready" for more diversity on the long-running franchise, Lindsay was quick to point out that it wasn't the country deciding who the next Bachelor and Bachelorette would be.
"It’s not America, it’s Bachelor Nation," the reality star told the outlet.
In a January 2018 interview, creator Mike Fleiss told The New York Times that the ratings decline during Lindsay's season was "disturbing" to him.
"I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way... 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."
That doesn't necessarily mean that the series won't cast another person of color as the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Host Chris Harrison told The Hollywood Reporter back in May of 2017 that a Black Bachelor is in the cards, as long as they are "right" for the role.
"I would like to cast the right man. If that man happens to be an African-American, an Asian, a Latino man, then great! But that isn’t as important as finding the right man or the right woman. And that you’re not so hung up on making history or breaking down barriers that you’re not also making the right choice," Harrison explained to the outlet. "I would hate to disregard a fantastic man or woman just because they don’t fit into a box. Hopefully we pick the right man and if he happens to be African-American, let’s do it."
Intentional or not, the casting on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette simply doesn't reflect the diversity within America. Lindsay may have made history, but the reality series still has a long way to go in order to really feel inclusive to all.