Rachel Lindsay Wanted To Change 'The Bachelor' From The Inside Before Realizing She Was 'The Token'
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Rachel Lindsay Wanted To Change 'The Bachelor' From The Inside Before Realizing She Was 'The Token'

Rachel Lindsay is opening up more about her decision to leave The Bachelor franchise. As the first Black lead of The Bachelorette, Lindsay continued her work with The Bachelor franchise and beyond. 

But amid the outcry of lack of diversity and inclusion and the backlash from season 25 of The Bachelor featuring Rachael Kirkconnell’s unsavory past when it comes to race, the spotlight put on Matt James as the first Black lead, and Chris Harrison’s controversy that came out of his interview with her, Lindsay had enough and opted not to renew her contract.

She’s since spoken of her own negative experiences with the show, including feeling stereotyped by Harrison after he called her angry on national television. In a new exposé with Vulture, Lindsay reveals all.

She says she tried to change the narrative associated with the show but began feeling used and came to the realization that she was “the token.” She admits to being disappointed in Harrison in the way he handled the Kirkconnell issue, saying she deserved “grace.” Lindsay said the moment was her aha and she was done forever with anything associated with the franchise. Still, it stung.

“I wouldn’t say Chris and I were friends, exactly. When you’re the Bachelorette, you’re traveling with him, sitting in hotels and airports. There’s a lot of hurrying up and waiting, and he’s the one you do it with,” she explained. “During my season and after, he became someone who gave me advice on how to navigate the show and the celebrity of it. I called him my fairy godfather. We’d had our highs and lows, but there had been mutual respect until this interview. I felt disrespected, but I maintained my composure because I had to.

Amid the controversy though, she says she tried to be a voice and face for more diversity and it backfired.

“I had gone from a former contestant who advocated for more diversity to one who spoke critically about the show and tried to hold those involved with it accountable,” she says. “By the time that segment with Chris aired, I was known as the contestant who was always starting trouble.”

Lindsay says the public blamed her for Harrison’s exit. Looking back, Lindsay says she was chosen for the show because she had the qualifications of the perfect Black contestant.

“I couldn’t be like the Bachelorettes who had come before — somebody who was still living at home with her parents, who had “pageant queen” on her résumé,” she says. “I was a lawyer. My father was a federal judge. I had a squeaky-clean record. I had to be a good Black girl, an exceptional Black girl. I had to be someone the viewer could accept. And I was a token until I made sure I wasn’t.”

Read more of the exposé at Vulture.