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Rachel Lindsay Says She’ll Cut Ties With ‘The Bachelor’ Unless ‘Embarrassing’ Diversity Issues Are Fixed

After 24 “Bachelor” contestants and 15 “Bachelorettes,” the franchise’s sole Black lead, Rachel Lindsay, is ready to dissociate with ABC’s reality series entirely if they don’t immediately address their problem with diversity.

“In 40 seasons [‘The Bachelor’] had one Black lead,” Lindsay said on the “AfterBuzz.” “We are on 45 presidents. And in 45 presidents there’s been one Black president. You are almost on par to say you’re more likely to become the President of the United States than you are a Black lead in this franchise. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous.”

Looking to the future, Lindsay knows one thing must change to continue her association with the ABC franchise — she recently appeared as a judge on “The Bachelor” spinoff “Listen To Your Heart” — the series needs to cast a Black bachelor by the 25th.

“It’s been asked of me, will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way,” she asked. “I can’t. I have to see some type of change. It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing. At this point it’s embarrassing to be affiliated with it.” Variety has reached out to ABC for comment. As for possible contestants? Lindsay has high hopes for former series suitor Mike Johnson, who was a fan favorite from Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette.”

“I would be thrilled if he [Johnson] was the bachelor. I think a lot of people would, there was such a huge movement to make him the bachelor last season. I gave a whole spiel when I found out he wasn’t, if it’s him everybody knows where I stand!”

Lindsay also addressed the second apology from Hannah Brown, after the former lead was exposed for saying the N-word on Instagram Live while rapping lyrics to a song. “I don’t want to critique her apology because two weeks ago, three weeks ago almost at this point, when the incident happened — and I did talk to her — I know that she was very upset and she was remorseful for what her actions were and she wanted to apologize. I’m not going to critique the sincerity of it because if she’s going to apologize, then I’m going to accept it.”

And Lindsay does believe that people can change, but not without showing the world your next steps. “You learned, you’re wanting to grow, now I’m watching to see how you move on from this,” Lindsay said. “I’m watching to see how you act. There were a lot of things that she promised in that apology, so let’s see what you do with it.”