Andi Dorfman Says ‘Bachelor’ Franchise Is ‘Scared’ Amid Controversy

Andi Dorfman

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Amazon Andi Dorfman on Amazon's 'Style Code Live.'

As The Bachelor franchise reckons with its handling of race, Andi Dorfman reveals why she thinks “they’re scared.” The former Bachelorette discussed the dating competition with Entertainment Tonight.

“I don’t know how you let somebody like Rachel Lindsay get bullied off her own social media account without stepping in and saying things earlier,” the creator of Andorphins said to Entertainment Tonight. “I don’t know how you kind of hide behind all of that. [When] your cast and your contestants are the ones that are having to come together without you, where is the franchise in all of this?”

Lindsay has faced the brunt of the backlash from Chris Harrison supporters who blame her for his decision to temporarily step down as host. The franchise host was accused of steamrolling the franchise’s first Black lead during an Extra interview where he was admittedly “excusing historical racism.”

In the wake of the interview, Bachelor Nation stars came to her defense. Including joint statements from the women of season 25 of The Bachelor and another from the men of season 16 of The Bachelorette.

“You are seeing the cast and the contestants all come together on social media and support one another, but you are not seeing ABC, Bachelor or Bachelorette support anybody.” Dorfman continued. “I think they’re scared. I think the franchise is scared.”

After Lindsay was driven off Instagram, the dating competition’s producers eventually did issue a statement condemning her harassment. During his first post-controversy interview on Good Morning America, Harrison also spoke out in support of Lindsay. She recently returned to social media.

While the 33-year old has acknowledged the franchise’s first season with a Black Bachelor has featured “probably the most diverse cast we’ve ever seen,” she said additional growth is needed.

As she told Entertainment Tonight, “My question is, what’s happening internally? The people that are sitting around the table, making the big decisions, is there diversity there? Is there diversity in the casting department? In editing?”

Dorfman called for increased diversity “within the people that are making those decisions.”

“Honestly, I would love to have a sit-down with people who are high up, that work inside, that make the decisions,” she added. “To be honest, I feel like we’ve never gotten that opportunity. We come on a season and then we’re off, and it’s off to the next. Yes, we get provided a platform to do things, but there’s never really been that open dialogue. I would love to challenge them, to be able to have that [opportunity].”

Dorfman Said Harrison’s Future in the Franchise Is ‘Above My Pay Grade’

When asked about Harrison’s future in the franchise, Dorfman admits it is “above my pay grade.”

Noting that “the apology is done” she questioned, “So what follows next? Where is the action, where is the change? That is the important thing to me … that’s where the genuine authenticity comes from.”

Harrison has issued three apologies, two on Instagram and one when being interviewed by Michael Strahan on Good Morning America.

The longtime host told Strahan, “I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. And I didn’t speak from my heart, and that is to say I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry. I’m sorry to Rachel Lindsay, and I’m sorry to the black community.”

Lindsay said on Extra that she accepts Harrison’s apology so they can “move forward.”

How to move forward seems to be a focus of Dorfman, who is friends with Harrison. She said, “I think you allow people to redeem themselves in all aspects of life. So, yeah, I do think he returns. I think if the network decides this is no longer a fit for him, then that’s their choice. Then I would maybe like to see a female step in, if we’re going to continue this change.”

Dorfman Speaks with Lindsay About the Action Needed in the Franchise

Dorfman admitted Lindsay is “taking so much of this burden.”

“I’m super proud of her,” Dorfman added. “I think she’s in a very difficult situation where she’s getting harassed, which is just disgusting, to be honest. The fact that someone like Rachel has to go off her own social media account, it’s disgusting to me. I feel for her, but I also feel like she has the opportunity to pave the way in real change and I think she’s doing that.”

Dorfman revealed they have spoken and Lindsay is “doing ok.” Dorfman said she often turns to her fellow Bachelorette when discussing change in the franchise.

“What action do people want to see? What action really matters to people? And part of that is having conversations,” Dorfman told Entertainment Tonight. “Like, I talk to Rachel Lindsay all the time about it. I ask her questions, because I don’t know the answers to it, and I think that’s a huge part of it — asking people how you want to see the change.”

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