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‘The Bachelor’/‘Bachelorette’ Franchise Casts Black Lead After 15 Years And More Than 30 Editions

Deadline logo Deadline 2/14/2017 Lisa de Moraes
© Provided by Deadline

The Bachelor franchise tonight will announce on Jimmy Kimmel Live it has finally cast a black person in a lead role on the pick-a-mate reality competition series. All-things-reality-TV blogger Reality Steve broke the news this morning.

Rachel Lindsay, a 31-year-old lawyer currently competing in The Bachelor, has been cast in the lead of the next edition of spinoff,  The Bachelorette, the web site said, dashing ABC’s plans to orchestrate the reveal on Kimmel’s late-night show.

There have been 21 editions of The Bachelor since it launched in March of 2002, including the edition now on the air. There have been 12 editions of spinoff The Bachelorette. That’s more than 30 missed opportunities over about 15 years to cast an African American in a lead role, for which the franchise, and the network understandably have been lambasted in the media and in other quarters.

Little more than a year ago, then-ABC chief Paul Lee hinted a black lead might be coming on The Bachelorette’s next season, thanks to some “tweaking.” Which did not happen. And Lee is gone.

One year later, ” ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline the casting finally would happen, in a one-one-one during TCA, explaining the tweaking meant upping “our quotient terms of diversity of bachelorette candidates which is wonderful, it’s a third more than we’ve ever had.”

Show creator Mike Fleiss is handling the correcting of a wrong with much modesty, tweeting:

…and then this:

…and this:

…and this:

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