Rachel Lindsay broke down barriers when she became the first Black lead of The Bachelorette in 2017. In the time since her season, Lindsay has advocated for more diversity in the Bachelor franchise, even telling AfterBuzz earlier this year that it had become “embarrassing to be affiliated with” due to the absence of people of color on the shows.
Since then, Tayshia Adams has been given the reins of season 16 of The Bachelorette following the early departure of Clare Crawley, and Matt James was named the lead of season 25 of The Bachelor. Lindsay applauded those decisions, but took issue with the way Adams made her first appearance on the current season of The Bachelorette.
At the end of episode three, a promo was shown that concluded with Adams stepping out of a pool in slow motion while wearing a bikini and smiling for the camera. Lindsay’s concern was that she felt as though the promo played on racial stereotypes.
Lindsay Felt Tayshia Was ‘Objectified and Hypersexualized’ in the Promo
In a story on Instagram, Lindsay offered her “unfiltered” reactions to the third episode of The Bachelorette. She concluded her thoughts by tearing into the show for the way Adams was presented.
“I have an issue with the way that Tayshia was introduced to everyone,” Lindsay said. “The franchise has been completely silent on the fact that she is the next Bachelorette. Now at this point we pretty much know she is, and the way you introduce her to us is by her coming out of a pool, dripping wet, showing off all her assets.
“Did she look stunning? Absolutely. But there’s a history in this country of black women being objectified and hypersexualized, and the franchise stepped right into that and played right into that stereotype. Not cool.
“And for those who are saying I’m doing the absolute most, listen to this: When you meet Bachelorettes for the first time, you meet them stepping out of the limo in a randy romp gown at the mansion talking to Chris Harrison. You don’t see their assets before you see them. You don’t see their assets before you see them speak. I feel like this was a missed opportunity and we should’ve met Tayshia as our new Bachelorette in a completely different way, rather than as a stereotype.”
Adams is expected to be introduced in a more traditional way in episode four and really begin her journey as The Bachelorette in episode five.
Chris Harrison Raved About Tayshia’s Entrance
Bachelorette host Chris Harrison knows all the tricks of the trade by now, but he said the reveal of Tayshia in the promo was “jaw dropping.” In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said the introduction of Tayshia was reminiscent of a scene in Die Another Day.
“From the producers to post department to decide — and it was all them — to put that Easter egg at the end, a la James Bond, Halle Berry getting out of the pool, was just jaw dropping and stunning,” Harrison said. “I have never rewatched an episode so many times as this episode. I think I watched it three times. I was that impressed with every ounce of that, and the Tayshia of it all at the end was just incredible.”
Comparing the scene to Halle Berry will do little to refute Lindsay’s point about the objectification and hypersexualization of Black women. Perhaps episode four will do more to assuage her concerns.