Making progress. Rachel Lindsay got candid about the steps the Bachelor franchise is — and isn’t — taking amid a call for more diversity and inclusion on the popular ABC reality series, citing Tayshia Adams replacing Clare Crawley as a big win for the show.
“I’ve been a big proponent for diversity and inclusion. I think it’s so important. And I don’t think this is said enough that Tayshia is representing two cultures, two communities. She is Black and Latina,” the season 13 Bachelorette told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting her partnership with the short-form video app Sezwe. “And everyone just wants to call her the second Black Bachelorette. But she’s a first in that she’s Black and Latina. And there are women out there that she’s representative of that I couldn’t even represent because I’m not Latina. And I think that is getting lost in all of this. Let’s give Tayshia the credit for what she is and what she represents. And let’s give a handclap to the show for taking the right steps toward diversity and inclusion.”
Lindsay, 35, was on her way to film a scene with Crawley, 39, in Palm Spring, California, in July when the network called to tell her Adams, 30, was filling in because the hairstylist got engaged to Dale Moss within the first two weeks of filming.
“Obviously, I wanted to be a part of Tayshia season. It’s history,” Lindsay told Us, confirming she eventually made her way to La Quinta Resort. “And I’m happy that the show was able to make that happen. And I come later in the season. There’s your tip, I come later!”
Back in June, ABC announced Matt James will make history as the first Black Bachelor. While Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, believes that the casting of Tyler Cameron’s 28-year-old BFF was just a “response to what was happening” in the world — referring to the Black Lives Matter protests — she feels like Adams’casting is a step worth celebrating.
“They could have chosen a number of women, and they decided to bring Tayshia. To me, that’s a step,” she said. “I also still want to see steps that check off that list that the Bachelor Diversity campaign brilliantly put together. We need to see people behind the camera that are representative of different cultures. I know that they have hired a diversity consultant, which I think is a great idea. We need somebody who is checking people making decisions, to make sure that they are either sensitive or inclusive to different cultures. So I think that’s a step in the right direction as well. Also in the story lines. I want to see the story lines for more people of color, you know?”
Lindsay pointed to Dr. Joe Park on Adams’ season.
“I don’t just mean Black people, like, Dr. Joe right now who’s on Tayshia’s season, we need to see more of him,” she said. “We need to see more. He’s obviously there for a reason, he’s attractive, he’s got a career for goodness sake! I think the guys in the house like him, I don’t understand why we don’t see more of him.”
Lindsay, for her part, has never been afraid to hold the franchise accountable. And now, she is taking her platform to Sezwe.
“I hope everybody uses it,” she told Us. “It makes you feel comfortable. It’s only 30 seconds, you know, so you don’t have to have this profound thing that you say it’s just a way to generate conversation and create a community where people can’t hide behind their handles.”