Bachelor Diversity

The Bachelor's Future: More Diversity? Hopefully! Cast a Fresh Face? Nahhh!

Echoing her predecessor’s barely fulfilled promises, new ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey hopes to see the Bachelor franchise cast a wider, more diverse net when populating its casts.

“I would very much like to see a change there… by increasing the pool of diverse candidates,” Dungey said abc-channing-dungey.jpgon Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

(Previous ABC boss Paul Lee told reporters in January that he would be “very surprised” if the summer 2016 edition of The Bachelorette “isn’t diverse.” Indeed, JoJo made her picks from one of the series’ more diverse casts… but by Week 3 all of her nonwhite options had been sent home.)

Given that track record, it is unlikely that either the Bachelor or Bachelorette will ever be fronted by a non-white lead a la Season 2 of Lifetime’s reality-TV-skewering UnREAL, seeing as the franchise remains committed to picking from leftovers/castoffs (versus returning to its roots and finding a legit “catch”… a la UnREAL).

“The show has very much been in this cycle where the first runner-up becomes the lead in the next cycle,” since they are a known entity to an invested audience, Dungey said, “and it has worked very well for us.”

Would you like to see The Bachelor or Bachelorette “end the cycle” and cast a fresh face for an upcoming season?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. tallsy says:

    When she says first runner up will become lead, does she mean that JoJo is starting a trend and that Robby will be the next Bachelor?

  2. sarah t says:

    Please, please don’t let that mean that Robbie is going to the be the Bachelor…

  3. greg says:

    Their casting pool is just a cesspool at this point, bring in some new blood. There is no one from this seasons Bachelorette that could carry a whole season as the lead. They are all as exciting as lead paint.

  4. Vicki says:

    Yes please

  5. Kate says:

    Matt, you consistently write my favorite TVLine headlines.

  6. Al says:

    Maybe most people don’t want to date people of another race. Are they asked first before sticking them with people they are not interested in.

  7. Steph says:

    Did you even watch the show? Her nonwhite options were not all sent home by week 3.

  8. TJ says:

    Make Chad the new Bachelor!

  9. marlene says:

    I would welcome a new face please…

  10. Geo says:

    How about casting a Bachelor or Bachelorette who’s genuinely open to dating people from other minorities? That’s going to have to be the first step. These shows give us a token number of minority contestants, just enough so they can pretend to be being diverse, but the Bachelor or Bachelorette always eliminates them within the first few weeks. It’s not just offensive, it’s sooooooooo incredibly dull, because it’s always completely predictable.

    Heck, I’d just like to see a Bachelor or Bachelorette who defies these shows’ standard demographic. Like, how about even a Bachelor who hates country music or classic rock and loves hip-hop? How about a Bachelorette who’s not immediately smitten by athletes, but likes something else in a guy? Just something, anything, that would make the show and the Bachelor/Bachelorette’s choices surprising for once.

    The Bachelor and Bachelorette may lack diversity in race, but they also lack diversity in the people who headline them and the stories they tell, as they’re just slight variations of the same old, same old, every single year (particularly with someone who’s tastes are as boring and predictable as Jo Jo– god, this season was a yawner).

  11. Heather says:

    The bottom line is this — THEY ARE BOTH TV SHOWS. These shows are not meant to spread humanity and socially liberal values. THEY’RE TV SHOWS. Let’s face it, most people are NOT interested in MARRYING out of their culture or race. These aren’t *dating* shows, they’re looking for a husband or wife. I’m white and not interested in marrying anyone outside of my race. Look around. If it’s a booty call, no one cares. But, marriage? Now that’s a different story. Plus, the reality is that the majority of viewers don’t want to see it. Period. Sure, I may sound conservative…..but, I’m just being real. I would not marry a black man, a Latino man, an Asian man, a disabled man, a ‘little person’, a homosexual, a bisexual, a transsexual, a drug user, an alcoholic, a felon, an unemployed moocher, a high school dropout, an inbred, a momma’s boy, a toothless meth addict, a gym addict, or a guy in the military. THAT is reality. We all have our bias, to say otherwise is a lie.

  12. Amy says:

    I thought hardly any 1st runners up had gone on to be the next Bachelor/ette. Isn’t the theory that makes their ‘heartbreak’ at not being picked seem a tad shallow?

    Though Chad as the Bachelor would be the most hilarious season ever.

  13. Brian says:

    She needs to check her facts. The first runner up is hardly ever selected as the suitor for the following season.
    That being said I’ll gladly take Robbie over Luke for the next Bachelor.

  14. tjchurch2001 says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Emmy-nominated “Unreal” star Constance Zimmer’s character made a comment about such things in this week’s episode regarding why people actually watch show-within-the-show “Everlasting”. It struck me (someone who has never watched ABC’s versions) as true at the time, & very in conflict with the quotes of the incoming (entertainment) President above.

  15. Yolanda Pabon says:

    I have been watching the show from day one. There has always been a very diverse of candidates. However each candidate has had n opportunity to win over the bachelor/ bachelorette and don’t because a good portion of them go there so they can be on tv. It’s called from of choice. I am a latina women and have a diverse selection of dates but I have a preference to latinos. It’s not a racial thing its preference

    • TJ. Church says:

      I have a tough time deciding if I should even mention the million mistakes in that comment (spelling, grammar, spacing, sentence structure, etc.), or simply limit myself to the fact you needn’t have watched the show “from day one” (or even at all) to know the majority of that is false.

  16. kn1231 says:

    I actually like that the Bachelor/Bachelorette is someone viewers know and have seen before, it personally makes me feel more connected to that lead. I watched Bachelor in Paradise for the first time this past week, and I loved it solely on the fact we get to watch some of the past favorites again. With that being said, I think every guy from Jojo’s season is a dud and I really think they should choose someone from a previous season as the next lead. I actually took a break from the season between Sean’s season and Ben’s season, so I don’t know what the people are like from Des’, Andi and Kaitlyn’s seasons but there have got to be better options than the men from Jojo’s season.

  17. Danielle says:

    Not that it really changes the diversity issue much, but all nonwhite contestants were NOT sent home by week 3. Grant Kemp made it to week 5.