It has taken only 15 years, 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 12 seasons of The Bachelorette, but ABC has finally cast its first black lead: Dallas attorney Rachel Lindsay.
The move comes after years of criticism directed towards ABC and the franchise, which also includes Bachelor in Paradise, for its lack of diversity. If you recall two black men who had auditioned for The Bachelor even sued ABC in 2012 claiming discrimination (the suit was dismissed).
Since, there has only been one non-white lead, the Venezuelan Juan Pablo Galavis, who was cast in 2013. Only two people of color–Catherine Ciudici and Tessa Horst, who are both part Asian–have ever won the show. And, according to research by Fusion, 59% of black Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants are sent home within the show’s first two weeks.
Now, ABC is making this historic AND surprising move. Lindsay is currently STILL competing on this season of The Bachelor for Nick Viall’s love. According to sources the announcement was supposed to be made tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live! but news leaked earlier than planned. We guess she’s getting voted off this evening.
According to Forbes, Lindsey, 31, will begin her own search for love this summer. We can’t wait!