While we wait for The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart to reach its conclusion and things ramp up for Bachelor In Quarantine, it seems host Chris Harrison is on a never-ending press tour. Bevelations host Bevy Smith used it as an opportunity to call out the franchise's biggest issue: diversity. Both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have each only had one non-white star — Juan Pablo Galavis and Rachel Lindsay, respectively — and the minority suitors on the shows don't end up ever making it far. There was no excuse for this when the franchise began in the early 2000s, and there's certainly no excuse for it now. But Harrison didn't seem to offer much of a solution.
“C’mon, Chris. What’s the deal, babe? How can we get this fixed?" Smith asked candidly. "There’s no black and brown people that go the distance really. It’s disheartening."
On The Bachelor, Tayshia Adams, Rachel Lindsay, and Caila Quinn were the only women of color to make it to the final three in the past five seasons, and Eric Bigger the only man of color to make it to the finale three in the past five seasons of The Bachelorette. As the weeks go by, episodes of the franchise get whiter and whiter, which Harrison believes is part of a cycle.
“What we realized is if you don’t see yourself represented — no matter if it is on TV or in a club or whatever — you’re probably not going to want to attend. You’re not going to feel comfortable," he told Smith. "So we had to take that first step, and we have done better at casting and putting more diverse people on the show, therefore you see yourself represented more. Again, I think it takes a long time to turn around a big boat. We needed to take that step and I think we’ve done much better in the last few seasons for sure. We’ll continue to do that."
However, he nixed the possibility of ever dedicating a season entirely to suitors and leads of color.
"I don’t know if the answer is to go all the way to the opposite side to where the other side doesn’t feel represented," he said. "My goal is to hopefully find that sweet spot in the middle."
Well FYI — that pendulum still has a loooooong way to swing until then, Harrison.