Q&A with Bachelor Diversity Campaign Team | Screen Rant

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The Bachelor Diversity Campaign launched on June 8th to coincide with the premiere of The Bachelor Greatest Seasons – Ever!, a recap of past The Bachelor seasons. The campaign is meant for fans to push the franchise to include more people of color, specifically black and indigenous people. 

The announcement of the campaign comes after Bachelorette star and “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast co-host, Rachel Lindsay, threatened to disassociate herself from the franchise if they failed to address their diversity issue. In the 18-year history of The Bachelor franchise, Lindsay was the first and only black lead. The franchise had the opportunity to cast Mike Johnson, a fan favorite from The Bachelorette season 14, as the first black bachelor in season 24 but instead cast Peter Weber. Weber’s half-Cuban descent was highlighted in the season but despite this, he’s still white, as Lindsay pointed out in a statement made about the casting. The cast has sporadically cast individuals of Latin decent over the franchise’s 40 seasons.

Related: Rachel Lindsay Distancing From Bachelor Due to Lack of Diversity

So now that Bachelor Nation is demanding more diversity in the wake of the resurgance of the Black Lives Matter movement, here’s what The Bachelor Diversity Campaign said about their plan towards a more diverse Bachelor/Bachelorette future.

The Bachelor Diversity Campaign is a movement focused on improving representation in The Bachelor franchise. The campaign was launched on June 5 by writer and franchise fan, Brett S. Vergara. “It’s time that ABC, Mike Fleiss, and Warner Bros. take demonstrable action to address the inequalities in casting, screen time, and employment of minority groups,” the campaign said in an interview with Screenrant.

The movement is calling for more diversity within the franchise, specifically for black and indigenous participants. Since The Bachelor first premiered in 2002, there has only been one black lead in the franchise as a whole. The show has sporadically featured characters of Latin descent with major storylines but the stars of the seasons are, more often than not, white.

The Bachelor franchise is consistently one of the most viewed shows on ABC with The Bachelor averaging around 6.7 million views. This platform gives them a position to advocate for more inclusive beauty and dating standards as well as condemn systemic racism. In the past, the franchise has failed to do this, especially within The Bachelor as many of the women are white or light-skinned and adhere to heavily popularized model-esque beauty standards. For the people of color who are featured, most are mixed race and borderline ethnically ambiguous. In an interview with Screenrant, the campaign said: “The goal of this movement is to build awareness such that ABC and Warner Bros. acknowledge the power of the Bachelor franchise’s platform and act on their responsibility to impact change through pop culture. We are asking that they recognize their missteps and their obligation to millions of viewers to do better.”

The goal of this movement is to build awareness such that ABC and Warner Bros. acknowledge the power of the Bachelor franchise’s platform and act on their responsibility to impact change through pop culture. We are asking that they recognize their missteps and their obligation to millions of viewers to do better. We’ve outlined those items in our Change.org petition, but to summarize:

  1. ABC and Warner Bros. should acknowledge and apologize for their facilitation of systemic racism and make demonstrable efforts to combat it both onscreen and off. 

  2. They should cast a black bachelor as Season 25 lead and BIPOC for at least 35% of contestants each season moving forward. 

  3. BIPOC contestants should have equitable screen time, featured storylines about their experiences, and mental health support. 

  4. BIPOC employees should have equitable compensation and more BIPOC should be hired, including a Diversity Consultant. 

  5. They should make conscious casting decisions, vet potential contestants more thoroughly, provide resources to viewers, and make a public donation. 

  6. Finally, they should make a clear, formal plan to combat anti-racism, including but not limited to these actions.

The movement is targeting its actions towards The Bachelor Greatest Seasons – Ever! Airing on ABC on Monday nights for ten weeks. Each episode features a summary of one of The Bachelor’s “greatest” seasons in its 18-year history. With each episode’s condensed timeline of what happens in a typical season, it clearly highlights how much the seasons lack in diversity. 

The movement also comes at a time where the nation as a whole is pushing to address racism. Nationwide protests following the police murder of George Floyd have pushed companies to directly address racism within their ranks. ABC Network made a statement on their Twitter about Black Lives Matter but has failed to take any steps towards concrete changes in the production of their shows. The Bachelorette season 13 star and ‘Bachelor Happy Hour co-host,’ Rachel Lindsay, announced she would disassociate herself from the franchise if they don’t address their diversity issues soon before the campaign began. Lindsay also said she considers the lack of diversity “embarrassing.”

Nick Viall, season 21’s bachelor, announced he signed The Bachelor Diversity Campaign petition in a tweet on June 8. Digital journalist, Nicole Lopez-Alvar, announced her support for the campaign on June 8, as well. In her tweet, she explained how the Latin American community she grew up with didn’t watch The Bachelor because their experiences weren’t reflected on screen. In regards to the fans who have pioneered the campaign, she said, they’ve spoken out so boldly, eloquently, and timely. Bachelor Nation does not like resistance or adversity. It’s scary to have an opposing opinion. The courage to do this is inspiring to say the least.”

You can show your support through social media platforms or by signing the Change.org petition. Follow @bachdiversity on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with the campaign. Tweet, share and post on the next nine Mondays with the hashtag #BIPOCBachelor and tag @bachdiversity. Once you sign the petition, share a screenshot.

 

Next: Bachelor: Victoria Supports BLM, Admits She Was ‘Part of the Problem’

Source: The Bachelor Diversity Campaign, Nick Viall

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