Rachel Lindsay is continuing to call the Bachelor franchise out on their diversity issues.
Lindsay — who was the first Black lead back in 2017 — opened up about the past Black male and female leads who chose white partners and the problem with the producers' thought process when casting contestants.
On comedian Ziwe Fumodoh's new variety show on Monday, May 17, the host asked the reality star if she received backlash for ending up with a white man, referring to her husband, Bryan Abasolo.
Lindsay felt she was given a bit more leeway when it came to choosing her partner in the end, since people were just excited to see her as the Bachelorette. "It's something I was worried about before I went on the show," she candidly responded. "I think I got a little bit more grace because I was the first and people were just excited that a person of color was in this role."
She continued: "But then I think when the next person chose someone that wasn't Black, and then by the time we got to the third one it was like 'you know what they're just not going to choose anybody that's Black.'"
The 36-year-old noted that backlash over who any Black lead chooses in the end speaks to "how unfairly people of color are held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren't."
She then admitted that there is a huge "casting issue" within the franchise. While reflecting on one incident, Lindsay told the host: "There was a point where I broke down on camera, and they used my tears for something else, but I was getting upset at the selection of men of color."
During filming, she found out that "several of the Black men on [her] season didn't date Black women." When Lindsay pressed the producers on why these men were brought on, they allegedly told her they "found it interesting" to choose Black men who had never dated a Black woman.
"I said 'You think that's interesting? That's my life. I live that,'" she recalled.
The drama began when Kirkconnell was called out for past racially insensitive posts, which she later apologized for. While talking to Lindsay, Harrison addressed the photos, saying Bachelor Nation should offer the contestant "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion." (Harrison also apologized for his insensitive commentary following the interview.)
Days after their interview, Lindsay announced she planned to leave the franchise once her contract was up. "I can't take it anymore," she said on her "Higher Learning" podcast. "I'm contractually bound in some ways, but when it's up, I am, too. I can't. I can't do it anymore."
As the controversy continued, Harrison announced he would be stepping down as Bachelor host, admitting he needed to take time to get "educated." Following the news, Lindsay shared her reaction to their interview, noting she was "stunned" and agreed that Harrison needed time to process what he said and why it was wrong.
Meanwhile, she was the one on the receiving end of the backlash from Bachelor Nation, who was "spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say," Lindsay’s "Higher Learning" podcast co-host Van Lathan said at the time.
After being bullied online, Lindsay deactivated her Instagram account for a period of time. The Bachelor producers finally stepped in, condemning fans for their "completely inexcusable" harassment towards Lindsay.