Baby steps! Rachel Lindsay revealed what the Bachelor franchise is doing to make sure that there is diversity and inclusion on set going forward, adding that having Tasyhia Adams as the new leading lady is a game-changer. 

“They could have chosen a number of women, and they decided to bring Tayshia. To me, that’s a step,” the 35-year-old told Us Weekly in an interview published on Wednesday, November 18. 

“I also still want to see steps that check off that list that the Bachelor Diversity campaign brilliantly put together,” she added. “We need to see people behind the camera that are representative of different cultures. I know they have hired a diversity consultant, which I think is a great idea. We need somebody who is checking people making decisions, to make sure that they are either sensitive or inclusive to different cultures. So, I think that’s a step in the right direction as well. Also in the story lines. I want to see the story lines for more people of color, you know?”

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Lindsay — who was the leading lady on season 13 of The Bachelorette, where she eventually met her husband, Bryan Abasolo — made history as the first Black Bachelorette in 2017 and has been hoping the show would change more and more over time. “I’ve been a big proponent for diversity and inclusion,” she shared. “I think it’s so important.”

The Extra cohost is thrilled that Adams, 30, was picked to find love this season. “I don’t think this is said enough that Tayshia is representing two cultures, two communities. She is Black and Latina,” she noted. “And everyone just wants to call her the second Black Bachelorette. But she’s a first in that she’s Black and Latina. And there are women out there and she’s representative of that I couldn’t even represent because I’m not Latina. And I think that is getting lost in all of this. Let’s give Tayshia the credit for what she is and what she represents. And let’s give a handclap to the show for taking the right steps toward diversity and inclusion.”

In June, Lindsay dissed the reality series for their lack of diversity. “In 40 seasons of [The Bachelor], you’ve had one Black lead,” she said during an interview on the AfterBuzz TV digital network. “We are on 45 presidents. And in 45 presidents there’s been one Black president. You are almost on par to say you’re more likely to become the president of the United States than you are a Black lead in this franchise. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous.”

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That same month, ABC announced Matt James would become the first Black Bachelor. “Don’t get me wrong, it is lovely that there is a Black Bachelor. It is great, but let’s get into the ‘but,'” Lindsay said on Juliet Litman’s podcast “Bachelor Party.

“I have been very vocal about the fact that we need a Black Bachelor. This is not because of the movement. I always have to say that. I have always pushed for diversity. It’s just Black voices are being amplified in a way that they have never been before … and now people are paying attention,” she continued. 

Nonetheless, Lindsay was excited to make an appearance in Palm Springs, Calif. “Obviously, I wanted to be a part of Tayshia’s season. It’s history,” the Texas native said. “And I come later in the season. There’s your tip, I come later!”

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