ABC’s The Bachelor franchise drew anger from fans Friday when it announced next season’s lead will be Clayton Echard – a 28-year-old white former NFL player from Missouri.
Critics bemoaned the choice for season 26, arguing the network hasn’t worked hard enough to diversify the hit reality series after it was hit with controversy over implied racism back in March, as Breitbart News reported.
“It’s a tired choice for a tired audience that is craving and demanding more,” members of the Bachelor Diversity Campaign, a collective of fans who want to see the show step up its commitment to diversity, told Yahoo Entertainment.
“We have seen this show before, quite literally over 20 times. This is not a knock to Clayton, who seems like a nice guy from our very limited introduction to him, but frustration that producers ignored more visible, impactful, and diverse contenders from this season and last in order to show us the same tired formula.”
The group was at the forefront of calls for ABC to make changes to the show’s format, which includes casting, in 2020 with a Change.org petition in favor of racial diversity “both in front of and behind the camera.”
Petitioners claimed the lack of a BIPOC lead was “unacceptable” and called for a number of changes to “combat racism” in the show’s future, including “Cast a Black Bachelor as Season 25 lead.”
“The criticism of choosing Clayton as the next Bachelor has nothing to do with Clayton himself. It can’t be personal actually, because viewers don’t know him. He was not a primary contender on the show and we weren’t given a chance to learn his story,” the Bachelor Diversity Campaign members said.
“So the fact that he was chosen as the Bachelor over BIPOC contestants who went further in the process, and therefore had more screen time and audience exposure, highlights once again that ABC makes the show it wants to.
Woke Cancel Culture victory! Chris Harrison, host of “The Bachelor,” says he is stepping down from his TV role and is “ashamed” for his handling of a swirling racial controversy at the ABC dating show. https://t.co/lKwAZ6RKfG
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 14, 2021
“The question really is, why does ABC continue to want to make a show with a white lead when there are multiple Black contestants they had to pass by to do so?”
Longtime host Chris Harrison permanently exited the reality TV series franchise back in June as ABC strove for a reboot.
Harrison, 49, left for good after 20 years as host. Critics accused him of racism after he defended a contestant who attended a sorority event featuring antebellum-style ball gowns.
Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.