The Bachelor Nation is angry!
ABC has revealed the next Bachelor, Peter Weber, aka “Pilot Pete.” The Delta Airlines pilot is happy for ABC tapping him as the next lead of the franchise. “I feel so grateful right now just to have this opportunity,” he said according to TVLine. “This is life-changing.” However, The Bachelor fans are up in arms because fan favorite Bachelorette contestant Mike Johnson wasn’t chosen, meaning ABC missed an opportunity to cast their very first Black Bachelor.
Chris Harrison commented on the potential to make history in an August 12 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“You always have to keep in mind the importance,” he said while also clarifying that he doesn’t have a say in who ABC chooses to front each iteration of The Bachelor. “But at the same time, you really have to lean towards: what is going to be the best television show? What will keep everybody entertained, employed and keep this train moving in the right direction?”
“We work extremely hard behind the scenes to create diversity and see more people represented on our show. It’s incumbent on us to do that, but it’s also really incumbent on us and everybody who runs this show to keep the show alive and keep it a viable option for ABC to renew,” he continued. “What’s the purpose of making a big social stand if you’re off the air in December? Every writer or person who is clamoring for something, whatever their social issue is, they’re going to move on and go yell at somebody else. You have to listen, but you have to do so and be prudent about it as well. We can’t just make decisions because we want to make everybody happy by making a social statement.”
Despite saying he has no say in the choices for The Bachelor, Harrison had quite a lot to say about the direction the wind blows when it comes to making said choices. Some of his wording, such as keeping the show a “viable option for ABC to renew” versus making history by breaking a color barrier, is telling. Seeing how ABC has yet to cast a Black Bachelor and has consistently cast white Bachelors who look like they’re cut from the same cloth, it stands to reason that perhaps what keeps The Bachelor viable is if all of the Bachelor leads are white.
Twitter users’ responses to Weber being chosen over Mike seem to reflect this assumption as well since many users accosted ABC for not being daring enough to pick someone they felt was the Prince Charming of Bachelor choices.
The season hasn’t even started and I’m already bored #MikeForBachelor
— Mike for Bachelor (@mikej4bachelor) September 18, 2019
I’m done!!!! pic.twitter.com/QGASNirBZv
— Gabby – Stumbled Angel (@LilyPlum2) September 18, 2019
— Nenette (@ndameus) September 18, 2019
— HappyCavillMiniFig #releasethesnydercut (@Deaconalientoy) September 18, 2019
NOTHING AGAINST PETER AT ALL but….seriously??? Who asked for this?????
— Carina Savoie (@carina_savoie) September 18, 2019
Mike should’ve been bachelor but okay….
— Geneva (@peaceloveGen) September 18, 2019
Ok. Fine. You chose Peter, but I NEED to know WHY Mike is not the bachelor??!!!!! pic.twitter.com/snpw4YHhEc
— Louisa (@jlpen23) September 18, 2019
— Amy Fletcher (@Amy_RochelleOG) September 18, 2019
I’m a little relieved that Peter is #TheBachelor?? Because now I have 2 nights a week for 8+ weeks free! I don’t need to watch this season—I’ve already seen it exactly 23 times before.
Call me when ABC is brave enough to cast a Bachelor that looks like Mike. ???????? #MikeForBachelor
— Kay Boatner (@kayboatner) September 18, 2019
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) September 18, 2019
So… when Chris Harrison says it’s the bachelor we’ve been asking for… I mean… did they just completely ignore the #MikeForBachelor hashtags ‘cause like… I don’t remember anyone asking for another pilot. #BachelorInParadise pic.twitter.com/HYB6RoSrIN
— MissSaintG (@theRealMSG) September 18, 2019
— The Velvet Dress (@daniellegold_) September 18, 2019
— Rosalinda (@yothisisro) September 18, 2019
I am still mad and bitter that Mike is not their pick for #TheBachelor
Nothing against Peter-he seems nice. But Mike really would make a better Bachelor in my opinion. WHY do they always pick what seems to be the unpopular choice?? ???? #MikeForBachelor #bachelornation pic.twitter.com/z10Z3xXMC2
— Chrishell Hartley (@Chrishell7) September 13, 2019
Chris Harrison: you’re different than any bachelor we’ve ever had
— 100% that bach(elor fan) (@THATBITCHELOR) September 18, 2019
— Gay Bachelor Bitch ???? (@BGaytion) September 13, 2019
— JQ. (@owensjaq) September 18, 2019
— MissSaintG (@theRealMSG) September 18, 2019
Mike is breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, dessert and to top it off, a respectful, funny interesting, kind gentleman and if he isn’t The Bachelor I want an answer why.#MikeForBachelor pic.twitter.com/2HCZrV8O5w
— Gay Bachelor Bitch ???? (@BGaytion) September 11, 2019
If Mike, a black man who has served his country is a 11/10 and has all the qualities for a lead can’t be the bachelor then it’s bc ABC doesn’t want a black bachelor #bachelorsowhite #thebachelor #MikeForBachelor https://t.co/Tc5ymSTHuo
— Bachelorette Rose (@RealityRose_) September 11, 2019
You could have had a black veteran who respects women and had the best smile in the world. Instead you’ve saddled us with another white pilot (because the first one did so great). I’m out. #MikeForBachelor pic.twitter.com/CdmI4Ol4rN
— MissSaintG (@theRealMSG) September 11, 2019
ABC’s first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay also sounded off on ABC backing Weber.
“I think Peter seems like a very nice guy. He seems lovely. This is absolutely nothing against him, but how many Peters have we seen before? What season are we on? 24,” she said to Entertainment Tonight. “So, we’ve seen 24 Peters. I’m bored. And it’s nothing personal against him.”
“For the first time, I was very confident that we were going to see our first Black Bachelor. And so if no one else is going to speak on it, then I guess it’s my duty to say it,” she continued. “I want to be hopeful, but when you have a contestant like Mike Johnson, who seems to check all the boxes, how is he not the Bachelor? I don’t understand. I’m sure they have some reason for not picking him, and I’m going to trust in that, but at the same time, the system isn’t working on giving us a Bachelor who is a person of color. So we need to change the system. Something has to be done. Break the rules, step outside the box, give the people what they want!”
However, there is a silver lining in all of this: If Johnson can’t win at The Bachelor, then it thankfully seems like he’s winning at real life. According to People, he is reportedly chatting it up with Demi Lovato.
— Amy March’s Revenge (@lil_kate_bakes) September 15, 2019
— Gabriel Chadwick (@gabeisathicky) September 12, 2019
Regardless, it seems like ABC needs to step up their game and actually give the fans what they are yelling for: a Black Bachelor.