Rachel Lindsay on Matt James as The Bachelor: Great. Then What???

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Rachel Lindsay is very happy that Matt James has been cast as The Bachelor.

Don't get her wrong.

But the reality star, who had been the only African-American lead of this franchise up until Friday's confirmation that James has landed this role, also wants to make one thing clear:

james.linsday

Racism still exists.

And it will take a lot more than one decision by The Bachelor executives to fix things.

Appearing on The Ringer podcast Bachelor Party, after the decision was made public, Lindsay sounded skeptical of the choice, simply due to the timing.

(James was chosen after a petition circulated around the Internet that urged ABC to finally select a person of color as The Bachelor.)

Matt James as The Bachelor

"I hate that it is in response -- or it seems like it is a knee-jerk reaction and in response -- to what happened in our society, what happened with George Floyd, and the pressure that you're getting from society," Rachel said on the podcast.

"It's almost like a man had to die in such a gruesome and public way for us to get a Black Bachelor.

"That's what it feels like."

rl reaction

Lindsay, of course, is referring to the heinous killing of Floyd last month by a white police officer in Minnesota.

The act has sparked renewed calls for social justice and police reform across America, and also regenerated the debate over how few African-Americans have been featured on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

"This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug," Lindsay said in a responsive statement.

"Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice.

"I look forward to hearing more about the additional efforts the franchise plans to make towards change."

Rachel Lindsay Promo Pic

Lindsay has been outspoken on this topic of late.

She said just a few days ago that she's ashamed to be associated with Bachelor Nation due to its lack of diversity.

"I want producers of color," she also said on Good Morning America.

"I would like for them to cast leads that are interested in dating outside of their race that aren’t just getting their first time experience for the first time on national TV.

"I need the acknowledgment of that."

Rachel Lindsay Is On GMA

Lindsay added that she doesn’t want the network’s historic decision in picking a black male lead to be like “putting a Band-Aid over the situation and just saying:

"‘Here, we’re going to put this here. Are you happy now?'"

For his part, James understands the unique nature of his situation.

For now, he just sounds grateful for the opportunity.

Ready with a Rose

"It’s an honor [to be the first black Bachelor],” he said on Good Morning America.

“I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me, and hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday nights, they’re going to see that I’m not much different from them and they see that diverse love stories are beautiful."

No word yet on when The Bachelor Season 25 will air.

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