bachelor nation

Rachel Lindsay Says Thirsty Instagram Influencers Are Killing the Bachelor Franchise

Rachel Lindsay Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Following a turbulent Bachelor season that has primarily consisted of aspiring tummy-tea saleswomen and sentient T.J. Maxx mugs, former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, who remains the franchise’s only black lead after two decades, offered her advice as to how the show can continue to survive and thrive, and it means chopping everything up and selling it for parts. Or, more realistically, doing a complete overhaul of the casting process and selecting a more diverse set of contestants. “I honestly don’t know how much longer the show can survive in this day and age, just to be honest, because social media spoils so many things,” Lindsay told the Associated Press about the franchise. “So many people come on, no job, no career, never worked a day in their life because they’re going to build it off of being Instagram famous or any other type of social media that you want to insert in there … The girls all look the same way. I think it’s going to be harder for them to find relationships that work. The show is either going to have to change or it’s gonna end.”

Lindsay, who has previously been critical of producers for failing to protect her and labeling her as an “angry black female” during her season finale, said that she continues to speak out about her frustrations because no other Bachelorette likely will. “I’m not going to be quiet,” she explained. “I’m probably the only lead that is bold enough to speak out and say something. It’s part of my responsibility. My biggest complaint is that the show does not reflect what the real world looks like. I would have women of all ages. I’d have women of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities. I would change it completely. And men as well.” Lindsay added that the main reason she decided to accept being a Bachelorette lead was because “it gave me the opportunity for an audience to see someone who’s never had this position in this franchise before. So why am I going to stop now?”

On Monday evening’s “Women Tell All” Bachelor reunion, Lindsay appeared as a special guest to do a PSA about online bullying and harassment. She read aloud several racist and cruel messages the current slate of contestants have received on social media, many of which implored the women to kill themselves. “I’m shaking as I’m reading this because it’s shocking, it’s uncomfortable,” Lindsay tearfully said. “I know how uncomfortable it is for you to see. Just imagine how uncomfortable it is to get this in your comments and your DMs every day, every week, every month. And that’s just a tip of the iceberg.” At the segment’s conclusion, Lindsay pleaded with viewers to stop with the digital harassment, so her efforts aren’t “in vain.”

Rachel Lindsay Says the Bachelor Will Die Without Change