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ABC network has cast its first Black lead on their hit reality show The Bachelorette.

According to Variety, sources close to the show told the website that Rachel Lindsay will be the one handing out roses in the upcoming season. While ABC has yet to confirm the news, an official announcement came on Monday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Lindsay, 31, is an attorney from Dallas, Texas, and isn’t new to The Bachelor franchise. She on the current season of The Bachelor show, vying for the affections of Nick Viall. Usually, the next Bachelorette is one of the fan-favorite runner-ups from the latest pool of contestants, Variety pointed out. In addition, Lindsay has made Bachelor history before—she’s the first African-American woman to ever receive a First Impression rose on the show.

It’s not a secret that The Bachelor has come under fire and even sued for its lack of diversity. In over 30 seasons, there has only been one non-White lead: Latino Juan Pablo Galavis back on Season 18. Buzzfeed reported that back in 2011, the show’s creator Mike Fleiss told Entertainment Weekly that the search for people of color felt like “tokenism“:

“Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”

But last year, former ABC boss Paul Lee sang a different tune, telling press members at the Television Critics Association that a Black lead was definitely on the horizon.

“We’re doing a whole lot of tweaks…We have the farm team, right, which allows us to then pick the next one. But I’d be very surprised if ‘The Bachelorette’ in the summer isn’t diverse. I think that’s likely,” Lee stressed.

This should be interesting.


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