Dear Bachelor Franchise, I’ll Have a White Bread With Mayonnaise To-Go
While the Bachelor franchise has not marketed itself as being the greatest (or even slightest) promoter of diversity, equity, and inclusion, you would think they’d know better than to cast another blond, generically congenial hunk with the unique personality of a factory manufactured piece of equipment as their new lead. With the singular exception of Matt James, every Bachelor lead since the birth of the series has and continues be White, White2, and White’s older sister slightly-tanned.
We’ve had Peter, we’ve had Arie, we’ve had Clayton, Colton, and Nick, and (say it with me!) we do not want Zach. There’s nothing wrong with him – in fact, I don’t dislike Zach. He seems like a respectful man, I like that his uncle is Patrick Warburton (cough cough, nepo baby) and I think he’s nicer than any of the other men listed above, which is about as much as I can say about him. I look forward to a group slam-poetry or roast-session date hosted by Uncle Kronk and a whole lot of awkward laughing and stilted interactions. Zach’s nice enough, but he lacks the charisma and people skills that are required of a reality TV star, The Bachelor at that. He’s supposed to pick up women, not forget their names.
However, the problem lies outside of his character or virtue as a man, and instead within the Bachelor franchise, who repeatedly cast cardboard cutouts of the same handsome semi-bearded white man and ignore the funny, emotionally intelligent, and heartwarming BIPOC men that fans repeatedly ask to be casted (re: Rodney or Andrew).
The final four men in Michelle Young‘s season of the Bachelorette were all BIPOC men, leading some fans to think we would get another BIPOC Bachelor and the franchise would finally start to move in the right direction. This obviously didn’t happen. While Rodney and Brandon, two of the four men, got sent to paradise, it seems as though producers are hell bent on sending anyone remotely funny, charming, or interesting to paradise and keeping back the generic, nice-but-nothing-else white men to be the face of their entire franchise.
After the outpouring of fan upset at casting Clayton, who received minimal screen time on Michelle’s season and had one of the most outrageously poor bachelor performances of all time, you would think that Bachelor casting agents would start making different choices. In fact, the viewer demographics of all the Bachelor shows are trending away from older conservatives and towards younger progressives who value diversity in cast, and the people involved in the making haven’t seemed to pick up on that trend. However, it looks like that’s not going to change anytime soon. I wonder who they’ll cast next: Toast McGee? The Pillsbury doughboy? Whoever it may be, I’m sure I’ll be shocked and riveted.