Ex-'Bachelor' Producer Calls Out Show For Not Casting Women Who Were 'Too Black'

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ABC/Craig Sjodin

History was made earlier this month when Matt James was announced as The Bachelor's first Black lead, but according to a former producer, the franchise has a lot more to do to right its past wrongs.

Jazzy Collins, who worked as a casting producer on Bachelor and The Bachelorette for five seasons, posted an open letter on Instagram detailing her experience working on the franchise and what it was like being the only Black person in casting.

When Rachel Lindsay was announced as the Bachelorette back in 2017, Jazzy was excited to finally see more people of color being represented on the show, as via both the lead and contestants. But apparently that didn't continue after cameras stopped rolling on Rachel's season.

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"After finishing Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette, it went back to status quo: the cast was predominantly white. The only Black women that were picked to be in the running had weaves or chemically straightened hair, were 'ethnically ambiguous,' or were not considered if they were 'too Black,'" she writes.

"Women with afros, braids, locs, etc; weren't given a chance because of the white standards of beauty."

 

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Though Jazzy tried to speak up, her ideas were repeatedly shot down and she no longer felt like it was the right place for her to work.

"I felt alone. While walking through the production and post offices, I only saw a total of three Black people. Soon after I left the show, I found out the only Black cast producer was also no longer with the team,” she explains. 

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"Your show has white-washed for decades, inside and out. Your head of post-production is white. Your Casting Director is white. Your Executive in Charge is white. You only cast the token Black Person, Asian person, or Latinx person to satisfy what you believe to be the needs of viewers. Many called for a Black bachelor for years — but you ignored it."

While she’s happy to see Matt James at the helm of Season 25, she knows the show needs to do more to improve diversity among cast and crew.

 

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"It took a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement to take a moment and reassess the issue at hand, which I've called on for years,” she notes. 

"I am calling on you to select a diverse cast and production team for season 25 of The Bachelor and moving forward. Not only is it important to have a diverse cast reflect what the rest of America looks like, it's important for the production and casting teams to be able to share the same experiences as the cast members. You're expecting a white team to be able to intimately produce people of color on an emotional level that they're truly unable to relate to."