Rachel Lindsay, a contestant on the 21st season of The Bachelor and the thirteenth Bachelorette, said she was saddened to “look around the room and [see that] no one else looked like me,” she told Us Weekly.
Chris Harrison and ABC brought together 12 of the past 14 Bachelorettes for a reunion special, which was the first time all the women were in one room at the same time.
“It was sad for me to look around the room and [see that] no one else looked like me,” Lindsay told Us Weekly in April. “It was sad for me to be the sole representation for women of color.”
Lindsay, 34, first appeared on Nick Viall’s season 21 of The Bachelor. She then became the first African American lead in the franchise’s history when she was named the season 13 Bachelorette, according to Us Weekly.
The popular dating show has been on the air for 15 seasons, and 14 out of the 15 leading women have been white, excluding Lindsay. ABC told USA Today that the network has no comment on Lindsay’s statements.
Despite being saddened by the lack of diversity on the show, Lindsay said she enjoyed getting together with her other Bachelorette costars, and that she values the insight from all of the women on the show.
“The best part for me was being in the midst of the women who paved the way for me to be the Bachelorette,” she told Us Weekly. “They started this journey at a time when it wasn’t popular to be the Bachelorette. America was not as accepting to see a woman in this role the way they were accepting of men. Social media was not a factor in their decision to find love.”
She continued: “These were women who were open to a new experience and open to love. I loved hearing their invaluable insight.”
Lindsay found her one true love during her stint on the show. She is set to marry fiance Bryan Abasolo this August. Although she first met Abasolo at the same mansion that she was visiting for the reunion, she said it wasn’t as personal or emotional for her to be there since she had experiences with other men in that same house.
“It would have been emotional for me if it was at the place where Bryan proposed to me and he was the only man left,” she told Us Weekly.
The Bachelorette reunion special airs on ABC tonight, May 6, at 8/7c.
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