Ultimately, Collins would like to see a change beyond casting James as the Bachelor. “I am calling on you to select a diverse cast and production team for season 25 of The Bachelor and moving forward,” she wrote. “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.
The executive producers of The Bachelor also shared a statement on Friday, June 12. “We are excited to move forward with both Matt James as the new Bachelor and Clare Crawley as our next Bachelorette,” they wrote. “We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward.
When Glamour reached out for comment, ABC publicity directed us to this statement from ABC Entertainment president, Karey Burke, which was made public on Friday, June 12, after Matt James's casting became official: "Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season.
Collins says she was brought on to help cast the season of the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, and was “excited to be an integral part of the show’s history. ” However, following Lindsay’s season, Collins says she failed to see a significant change in the status quo. “My hope was that having a racially diverse cast of gentlemen would be an important milestone that would continue into the future.
This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug. “Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice,” Lindsay added. “I look forward to hearing more about the additional efforts the franchise plans to make towards change.
On June 13, former Bachelor casting producer Jazzy Collins posted an open letter to ABC describing a lack of interest in casting men and women of color beyond “the token Black person, Asian person, or Latinx person to satisfy what you believe to be the needs of the viewers.
The Bachelor recently made history by casting Matt James as its first Black male lead, but the ABC dating show still has a long way to go in terms of diversity in front of and behind the camera.
According to Collins, during her time working on the franchise, applicants who were “too Black” wouldn’t be considered for casting. “Women with afros, braids, locs, etc; weren’t even given a chance because of the white standards of beauty,” she claimed, noting that only “ethnically ambiguous” people of color were chosen.