For years, fans of ABC’s The Bachelor have complained about the lack of diversity in those looking for love on the show. For the first time since its debut on television fourteen years ago, the franchise is addressing fans concerns.
Paul Lee is the ABC Entertainment Group president. Lee spoke out at the TCA presentation in Pasadena, California this past weekend and spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the diversity worries.
There have been 20 seasons of The Bachelor and 11 seasons of The Bachelorette. In all of those seasons, the casting for the lead has always been held by a white man or woman. All with the exception of Juan Pablo Galavism, who is Venezuelan but still American born.
This fact has been troublesome for viewers wanting a change and it is a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2012, the network even faced a lawsuit for their alleged racial discrimination.
Lee told EW:
“We had a Latino Bachelor, obviously. We’re doing a whole lot of tweaks. We have ‘The Farm Team,’** right? Which allows us to pick the next one. But I’d be very surprised if The Bachelorette in the summer wasn’t diverse. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that, but I think that’s likely to happen.”
Lee remained cryptic as to what other tweaks will happen in the coming seasons, but did say that “(…) the tweaks that [producer] Mike Fleiss has put in place will get (them) where (they) want to go.”
Until then, we can keep watching with bated breath and hoping Ben Higgins finds someone special!
**The Farm Team is the pool of individuals from which the new Bachelor and Bachelorette’s are picked from. The group are usually from the previous season and the individual picked is typically someone who has either made it far on the show OR someone who has made a good impression with fans. Therefore, the next Bachelorette will be picked from this season of The Bachelor with Ben Higgins. Currently on the show there are three non-white women. So if The Bachelorette is going to be “diverse,” it will likely be one of those three!