Just a few days after it was announced that Matt Barnes would be the first Black male Bachelor in the show’s 18-year franchise and 40 seasons, a former producer is spilling some serious tea on how the show handled Black female contestants in the past.
On June 13, former Bachelor casting producer Jazzy Collins posted on her Instagram account an open letter to ABC detailing her disgust with the show’s lack of interest in casting men and women of color beyond “the token Black person, Asian person, or Latinx person to satisfy what you believe to be the needs of the viewers,” Glamour reported.
Collins didn’t hold back, accusing them of dismissing Black women who were visibly Black and rocked their natural hair.
“Women with afros, braids, locs, etc; weren’t even given a chance because of the white standards of beauty,” she claimed, adding that only “ethnically ambiguous” people of color were chosen.”
Sis added that while she played a crucial role in getting Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, cast in the franchise, sadly the season after hers was back to their old games when it came to casting and women of color.
“My hope was that having a racially diverse cast of gentlemen would be an important milestone that would continue into the future. That was not the case…Your show has white-washed for decades, inside and out. Your head of post-production is white. Your casting director is white. Your executive in charge is white,” Collins continued.
“Not only is it important to have a diverse cast reflect what the rest of America looks like, [but it’s also] important for the production and casting teams to be able to share the same experiences as the cast members.”
Now Collins wasn’t the Black woman to speak against the show—Lindsay also had some words, taking to Twitter to congratulate James for his upcoming season, but also express her feelings about the show’s problematic past.
While it’s completely awful that these white casting directors continue to discriminate against Black women and their natural hair and turn them away from participating from the show…is having Black Bachelorettes the type of representation we need given the nature of the show itself? Or should that even matter? Real talk: I’m still on the fence.
But either way, I hope the folks behind the reality romance series are paying attention and recognize that Black women come in all shades and hair textures and shouldn’t be dismissed because of it.
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