The Bachelorette Season 12

Unreal! ABC's Next Bachelorette Is Not So Diverse After All

It looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer for that “diverse” season of The Bachelorette.

ABC announced on Monday that JoJo Fletcher, runner-up on Season 20 of The Bachelor, will next look for love as the Season 12 bachelorette — a bit of a head-scratcher, given the network’s recently-expressed desire to solve the franchise’s longstanding diversity problem.

In January, ABC’s then-president Paul Lee said he would be “very surprised” if the show’s 12th cycle “isn’t diverse,” adding, “I think that’s likely to happen.”

Though Fletcher is of Persian descent, it had been speculated that The Bachelorette would cast its first-ever non-white leading lady (with Bachelor contestant Caila Quinn, who is Filipino, eyed as a likely candidate).

Fletcher’s casting was announced on Monday’s After the Final Rose special, moments after Ben Higgins rejected her and proposed to Lauren Bushnell.

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64 Comments
  1. Allie says:

    Coming here from your Twitter link – about JoJo being diverse, she’s half Persian, but not the diverse I think everyone was expecting. Caila shot intros for the Bachelorette but ABC backed out on her and opted to go with JoJo instead.

  2. Dmac says:

    So much for their “we here you” comments regarding the lack of racial diversity on the show. Apparently they are tone deaf to the concerns of their viewers.

  3. Holly says:

    She is perfect!!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I think it’s hateful to imply that half Persian does not make Jojo diverse- my husband is half Persian and we have dealt with racism based merely on his name and dark features. Just because Jojo can pass as white doesn’t mean her Persian heritage doesn’t affect her. Jojo comes across better on camera than Caila and Jubilee was mentioned as well but I don’t think she enjoyed the process of being on tv much either.

    • BeBe says:

      It’s not hateful. Just because someone disagrees, it doesn’t mean they hate. Sorry for the experience you’ve had, but… Calm down.

    • Hank James says:

      I think the idea that they only select people who can “pass” is the issue. No one in any way should not consider her Persian, it’s that she is the only type of “Persian” they would select. See Juan Pablo.

    • Isobel says:

      Persians are Caucasian though, she’s not passing as white, she is white and so is your husband. They’re just not Anglo-Saxons.

    • Dude says:

      It doesn’t affect her. She’s white and her name is JoJo Fletcher. She would have to go out of her way to let people know she’s half Persian in order to experience racism and even then, she’d be unlikely to experience it. She is not a diverse Bachelorette. Stop kidding yourself.

    • Brooke says:

      No one is being hateful. It’s just laughable that the most diverse they can stand to get is someone who clearly passes for being white regardless of what their background is. Does she walk down the street and get treated like she is non-white? When potential employers look at her resume, do their unconscious biases make them look at her name and pass over her? It’s just hardly a bold choice on the producers’ part.

    • Seriously , i hardly hear of persians getting discriminated against, let alone half Persians.

  5. D says:

    I guess they care about ratings

  6. Michelle says:

    Sucks for Caila but nobody liked her as much they did Jojo. Thats the breaks. We cant have another season watching someone we dont like. Juan Pablo, etc

    Though id rather have Jubilee than Caila.

  7. Anni says:

    JoJo is a natural and very likeable. I feel bad that Caila got the rug pulled out from under her, but JoJo really is better TV. And who doesn’t want to see more of her crazy family?

  8. Diz says:

    She will make The Bachlorette GREAT AGAIN!

    • Gabby says:

      Kaitlyn WHO?

    • justsayon says:

      This show is a joke and always has been. I really don’t understand the appeal. Seriously. Can someone explain to me why y’all like this dross?

      • Evan says:

        Women like to see other women desperately throw themselves at a man in an attempt to get into a very public relationship on national TV that has a maybe so far under 20% success rate?

        Cause everyone thinks they’re the next Trista.

  9. Lisa says:

    Caila was not a fan favorite. That’s why the last minute switch for JoJo happened. JoJo was clearly more popular. I really like JoJo so I love that she’s the Bachelorette. Looking forward to her season.

  10. Hank James says:

    I think this is diverse like Juan Pablo was diverse, a half-hearted attempt to satiate those who crave diversity. The producers really don’t have the cajones to do it, the fear is that the show will hemorrhage viewers with anything really resembling a mixed race pairing and it will put the bachelor/bachelorette on the spot, so as not to appear racist. Their response is to white-wash the contestants, so they can say they are going the diverse route and technically being speaking the truth, but not really address the concerns people have. I don’t think the issue is as much about cultural diversity as it is about seeing diverse images on television. I really don’t have a dog in the fight, I think the show is ridiculous and I find it amusing that some of my female friends who watch it call themselves empowered, but religiously watch 20 women slowly chip away at their own power chasing anyone on tv with a straight face. JMO.

    • justsayon says:

      This. All of this. And I’m female, just so everyone doesn’t think that all women are stupid enough to watch and like this drivel.

  11. MyFavoriteSong says:

    Why do people keep using the term Persian? Isn’t that the same as Iranian?

    During the home visit, her family seemed a bit hot-headed and mama bear seems like a heavy drinker so maybe that will be diverse enough?

  12. chrisjroof says:

    Calling Caila a fan favorite is laughable when zero fans like her.

    • Gabby says:

      That’s a little rough, youngster. She has plenty of fans.

    • Timmah says:

      Agreed, she was a boring dud just like Loren. Thank God Ben didn’t choose JoJo so that now we get an interesting Bachelorette.

      • LH86 says:

        This is exactly what I was thinking! I thought JoJo was a much better fit for Ben, but it worked out for the viewers because now we don’t have to watch Caila for months!

  13. mooshki says:

    You scared me for a second with the “Unreal” header – I saw that and “not so diverse” first and thought they had dumped B.J. Britt!

  14. Phillip says:

    African Americans are not the only diversity out there. Seems like people keep forgetting that.

    • Annie says:

      It is very frustrating. Like with the Oscars, the conversation for at least a week (if not longer) was about how all the major awards were only white nominees. Alejandro G. Iñárritu is Mexican and was nominated for Best Director (and obviously won). Direction is a pretty “major” award. But no one seemed to want to talk about how there are numerous other races in the world and committed this massive act of erasure against Iñárritu being a person of colour.
      .
      The narrative did change to be about the acting awards, but still – who is behind the camera matters as much as who is on camera. There was a huge race problem with the entire event, but erasing the one man of colour and saying he wasn’t the “right” race just doesn’t help anyone.
      .
      There needs to be more diversity for every race in our media; it’s literally not just black and white.

    • Dude says:

      Who’s forgetting that here? The article seems to have wanted Caila Quinn to be the Bachelorette who is decidedly not black.

    • Tennisnsun says:

      Great point Phillip!

  15. Sandy Duncan's Eye on Network TV says:

    The race doesn’t matter…the reality is that this show is a game show with fairly consistent outcomes (no relationship) full of mostly despicable, fame seeking 20 and 30somethings who can’t think of a better way to get on television. ABC thinks that Juan Pablo & Catherine Giudici makes up its ethnic quotas.

    • Greg says:

      They have actually had a pretty good track record in the last few years, many couples that have stayed together and been married / had children. So might want to check your facts.

      • justsayon says:

        It’s still a stupid show. I don’t know why anyone would want to watch boring vapid people in manipulated situations be boring and vapid. Oh and make out with each other. Just dumb.

  16. Janine Barry says:

    “Fan favorite”??? The reason they chose Jojo is because SHE was the fan favorite! Mike Fleiss’ twitter feed was full of people upset that it was going to be Caila!

  17. liame says:

    The fact that people care about this stupid crap goes to show American has never or will ever be GREAT!

  18. Cary Murphy says:

    Wow Jojo you are truly a beautiful woman. I would love the chance to treat you the way you want to be treated. There are good men out here. Keep smiling and keep your head up.

  19. Fred says:

    Who gives a crap if the Bachelorette isn’t “diverse”? Give me a break, stop whining.

  20. Mary says:

    Here is a thought cancel the mindless stupid show and you won’t have to worry about be diverse. How anyone can waste their time watching or even being part of this show is beyond me. We wonder why are society is the way it is.

    • Melody says:

      I agree. History is not going to look kindly on this period of time

      • Amy says:

        Gotta feel sorry for Caila losing the Bachelorette title at the last minute. As unpopular as her Disney-princess edit was, I think she could’ve been entertaining (Remember the ’50 shades of crazy’ comment in the first episode? Nope. Okay…). But I’ll be watching JoJo in the utterly shameless, ridiculous, schadenfreude glory that is the Bachelor franchise.

  21. DeeDee says:

    I think ABC can do what they want with their show, especially when picking contestants who they think will bring in the best ratings regardless of diversity. Caila was very sweet, but JoJo is the bomb!

  22. CJ says:

    EH not impressed with the choice for reasons other than diversity. I know JoJo wouldn’t be the first to have been exposed to reality TV before going on the Bachelor/Bachelorette – but we’ve seen this family before and on a very poorly rated Bachelor show on NBC, where JoJo’s brother was “the bachelor”. Then watching his behavior at the hometown dates. All I’m saying is that this isn’t this families first reality-rodeo and I think that could impact the authenticity that is left for a show I really enjoy. Especially coming off a season with a pretty authentic bachelor in my opinion. Still on the fence if I will watch in May.

  23. Eliza says:

    Everyone who is complaining about the diversity most likely didn’t watch the entire season. The producers aren’t just looking for a diverse lead, they’re also looking for someone who is likable, personable, able to carry on a conversation with 25 different men, eloquent in interviews, and has an interesting story to carry the narrative for an entire season. When you take away the race issue, Jojo exceeded Caila in all of those qualities throughout the season. Jojo was able to verbalize her feelings much better than Caila and that’s a huge part of being a Bachelor/Bachelorette lead. Why should Caila have been given the lead role just because she happens to look more diverse than Jojo, but isn’t as qualified for the part? Even though this is considered reality television, the lead has a lot of scripted tasks and it’s clear Jojo is much better suited for doing their corny acting pieces and carrying an interesting season. The producers can still bring in a much more diverse cast when the pick out the 25-28 men.

  24. Ru says:

    They chose her because A LOT of people wanted her to be the next Bachelorette. Perhaps the candidates can be more diverse instead?

  25. Timmah says:

    It’s pretty funny to discuss diversity in the context of a stupid reality show where they shamelessly try to manipulate people into making lifetime commitments based on a few weeks of dating. Perhaps the show should just try for self-respect first before reaching for such loftier goals.

  26. tvjunkie says:

    I don’t watch and never would watch the shows, but have they ever done a gay/lesbian edition? In not then why not? Are the producers homophobic?

    • AJ says:

      Gay and lesbian doesn’t work because contestants would be all over each other. There have been versions of this on cable networks like Bravo.

  27. John NYC says:

    So they’re locked into feeding the last loser from the Bachelor into the Bachelorette?

    Sort of lazy.

    Though the women does look very attractive.

  28. Nedsdag says:

    JoJo is a yawner for a Bachelorette. In fact, with the exception of Jubilee, none of these girls are worth watching a season of this show. Can they bring back Brit from last season’s show?

  29. kn1231 says:

    Bachelor fan from Canada here, who also is an African Canadian. I will say I was interested when the comments about having a diverse lead were made, but I’d much rather someone who would be interesting to watch over showing diversity. Jojo is the perfect pick, as she’s funny, smart and very likable. Some are even already predicting she may be one of the best leads the show has ever had. Her mother is also from Iran (which has been stated in a number of the other comments), so Jojo is not white. She is just as diverse as Caila is. Jojo was the best female from this season and I can’t wait until May to watch her journey.

    • kn1231 says:

      I also meant to add to refer to Jojo being picked as a “diversity controversy” is such a stretch. Even if they picked Lauren B (had she not won), not picking a diverse lead, no matter what was said, would hardly be a “controversy”.

  30. Donnerjack says:

    Who said the show had a “problem”? 12 seasons. That seems to indicate no problem at all.

  31. Sharon C says:

    why are so many of girls making hateful comments on caila and that jojo is a better fit (are they trying out to be with the 28 men?) get real ladies caila is the only perfect choice and besides they Never had a runner up be the next bachelorette it they wanted jojo then they should’ve kicked her to the curb 2 weeks prior to when they did.

  32. Anrol celestial says:

    Are you kidding bachelorette shows are for white females only when it comes on picking the leading lady. You should know that for many many years. Blah … Right

  33. Half Persian. That makes ethnic, but not racial diversity. Large-scale genetic studies reveal Persians are just an extension of the (European) Caucaus people (next to Armenians and Azeris and then Georgians) Though Iran isn’t part of Europe, that doesn’t mean there (generally) not highly Caucasoid. A 2016 study revealed Iranians to be basal Caucasoids, meaning most variation in modern Europe, the Caucauses and the Middle East originated on the Iranian Plateau. Most Persians I’ve seen just look like darker Armenians, Azeris, like Kim Kardishian types. Though Iran has had non-Caucasoid adxmiture so about 10-15% of the country are clearly products of mixing with lesser Caucasoid groups, and to a less extent, non-Caucasoids. To give you an geneticists perspective, a half Persian is about as white as 20%-30% of Europeans. Nonetheless, by casting her, the show does respect cultural and ethnic diversity.