While the next Bachelor seemingly boils down to a trio of very handsome men, the franchise’s resident dad, Chris Harrison, wants to make one thing very clear as we continue to fret over that current Paradise love hexagon: All of our future leads are going to be straight and young, and if you have any problems, well, there are literally thousands of other shows to watch instead. When asked by THR if he thinks the franchise would ever welcome a queer or older lead (now that fan-favorite contestant, Demi Burnett, has come out as queer), Harrison wasn’t optimistic about any kind of change. “I always say The Bachelor doesn’t create and drive social issues. We’re a microcosm of what’s happening in the world,” he responded. “I’m not going to say we’re changing the world — it’s an entertainment show, so let’s stay in our lane a little bit. But I am proud of the fact that we aren’t afraid of these social issues and are pushing these issues a little bit, and hopefully we do our part in raising the level of debate.”
Specifically, with regard to age, Harrison doesn’t necessarily agree that an older lead would be more mature than what we’ve witnessed in the past. (The most recent Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, was only 24 when she taped her wild season, which ended in a swift break-up.) “There’s plenty of 40- or 50-year-old men who still don’t know how to talk to or break up with women,” Harrison added. “With age comes a little wisdom and experience, but that’s not always necessarily the case.” Just look at Arie Luyendyk Jr.