Will 2016 Have A Black Bachelorette? A Change Still Seems A Long Time Away
It’s a topic that has been brought up for years, but with the Oscars diversity controversy having just happened and the fact that The Bachelorette is going into its 12th season, the fact that there has never been a black Bachelorette is seeming more and more ridiculous by the day. A black woman has never won the show or even been in the top four, and between 2009 and 2012, there wasn't even a single black contestant on its sister show, The Bachelor. The lack of diversity has caused issues before — in 2012, two men sued The Bachelor saying it discriminated against contestants of color, although the case was dismissed — but little has changed over the course of either series, despite a few seasons, like Sean Lowe's, featuring a few contestants of color. And sadly, in 2016, a black Bachelorette — or any woman of color in the role — is still not likely to happen.
As fans know, the next Bachelorette is usually chosen from one of the top four contestants on the previous season of The Bachelor. Unfortunately, no black woman has ever cracked the top four (including this season). But that's no excuse. There have been Bachelorettes who didn't make the top four, and are simply fan favorites, as producers always have the option of picking a Bachelorette of their choosing. They've had plenty of options in the past, but frustratingly, it's never happened. Still, it's worth looking at some of the women who could have made great Bachelorettes, and hope that things change for the better in future seasons.
Jubilee was a beautiful, well-rounded, and interesting person. She served in the military, and has overcome many challenges in life. She had a hard time getting along with the other women, but that's just because of how mature she is — at 24, she acted more grown-up than any other woman in the house. She would be perfect Bachelorette.
Viewers have been with Amber for a year and a half now. She tried to date Chris, she tried to find love in Paradise, and then she tried again with Ben. That’s got to be exhausting! Give this woman her own show already.
Another contestant from Ben’s season, Jami went home fairly quickly, but she seemed very cool. She was friends with Kaitlyn, and on her way out, she made a great joke about how she was going to go home and start her life as a cat lady. She feels the way most of us do every day, and so she'd make a funny, relatable Bachelorette.
I firmly believe that anyone that had to deal with Juan Pablo deserves to have a second chance where 25 men compete for her. Every woman on that season should become The Bachelorette. Chantel went home in week two, but she seemed like a sweet contestant who could have been a great choice.
Another Juan Pablo survivor, Danielle was absolutely stunning. She made it to week five before he sent her home. They brought her back for the first season of Bachelor in Paradise, which was a bust for her as well, and it looks like she’s still on the market. She would make the perfect Bachelorette.
Leslie was a contestant from Florida in Sean Lowe’s season. She made it to week four before he sent her home. As viewers know, Sean did eventually find the love of his life, so it's clear he made the right decision in sending her home, but Leslie would still be a good candidate for The Bachelorette. She's expressed her thoughts on the series' lack of diversity in the past, however. “I don’t see it being anytime soon,” she told The Daily Beast in 2013. “I feel like they did make this big transition into this season, but it would have to be an even bigger leap to put an ethnic person as the main person.”
Robyn made it to week five in Sean Lowe’s season before she was sent home. She's not exactly a likely candidate for The Bachelorette, considering that she just got married, but prior to that milestone, she could have made an excellent choice.
Back in 2008, Marshana made it to week five before being cut. She went on to star in a Bravo show called Friends to Lovers where she tried to determine whether she should become romantic with her best friend. These days, it looks like she’s still single and doing quite well with her career.
Sadly, there have only been a total of 25 black female contestants in the show’s 20 seasons on the air. Besides the women I listed, there were only three others prior to 2008 who made it past the second week on the show. So if anyone needed more proof that a bump in diversity is greatly needed on the show, you've got it.
For more Bachelor check out Bustle's Will You Accept This Podcast? below:
Image: ABC/Rick Rowell; ABC/Craig Sjodin (3); ABC (4); Bravo