Former 'The Bachelor' Casting Producer Pens Open Later In Wake Of First Black Lead Announcement
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Former 'The Bachelor' Casting Producer Pens Open Later In Wake Of First Black Lead Announcement

Last Friday, ABC’s The Bachelor announced that Matt James will be the franchise’s first Black bachelor. He will also be the overall franchise’s second Black lead, following Rachel Lindsay.

In an open letter to ABC and The Bachelor/The Bachelorette producing teams, former casting producer Jazzy Collins discussed her experience on the series. In the letter, which was shared to Deadline, Collins revealed that she was the only Black casting producer on the show.

Your show has white-washed for decades, inside and out,” Collins wrote. “I am calling on you to select a diverse cast and production team for season 25 of The Bachelor and moving forward.”

“While working on Rachel Lindsay’s season of the show, we were called on to have a very diverse cast. It was my first season of the show, and I was excited to be an integral part of the show’s history,” she continued. “My hope was that having a racially diverse cast of gentlemen would be an important milestone that would continue into the future. That was not the case.”

Collins revealed that after Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, the franchise went back to the status quo, only using casting to fulfill a diversity quota.

“You only cast the token Black person, Asian person or Latinx person to satisfy what you believe to be the needs of the viewers. Many called for a Black bachelor for years — but you ignored it,” Collins said. “I am happy to see you’ve chosen Matt James as your first Black Bachelor in 25 seasons. It took a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement to take a moment and reassess the issue at hand, which I’ve called on for years.”

Collins revealed that she was called “aggressive” for voicing her opinions on The Bachelor/Bachelorette’s lack of Black leads. She also revealed that Black women who only cast if they “had weaves or chemically straightened hair” or were“ethnically ambiguous.”

Lindsay, who was cast the franchise’s first Black bachelorette and was the only Black lead before James, slammed The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises for their lack of Black leads. Prior to the announcement of James as the lead, Lindsay said that she would distance the from the franchise if it’s lack of inclusion and systemic racism continued.

READ MORE:

Rachel Lindsay May Cut Ties With ‘The Bachelor’ Over ‘Embarrassing’ Race Issues

‘The Bachelor’: Matt James Selected As First Black Lead In Series History

 

Photo: ABC/Getty

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