On The View Tuesday, Whoopi Goldberg and her peers did something kind of crazy: they criticized the executive producers of a show on their own network for not picking Marquel, a now-ousted contestant on this season of The Bachelorette, to be the next Bachelor. What turned the women onto Marquel? The classy way he handled allegedly being called a racial slur by a fellow contestant who was surprised Marquel had managed to stick around as long as he had.
"I think maybe ABC is not as comfortable with this because they don't want the folks who really don't get it at all to get on top of them and make it difficult for the show to go on," said Whoopi of Marquel's potential as the first black Bachelor. Sherri Shepard went even further, pointedly calling out ABC executives:
I think they feel the numbers will not be good, I think it's a money thing, I think it's a corporate thing. I think the executives feel that if there was a black Bachelor, if there was a female Bachelorette who was black, the numbers would not support – the ratings [would be bad].
The ladies of The View agreed, however, that Marquel was a class act. And to twist the knife further, it was the way he had responded to possibly being called "a blackie" that moved him, in their hearts and minds (and the hearts and minds of other show fans and former Bachelor contestants), from mere contestant to future heartthrob.
During the episode of The Bachelorette in question, JJ (the "pantsapreneur") revealed that during the first Rose ceremony, Andrew (a "social media manager") had turned to JJ after Marquel and another black contestant Ron had received roses and said, "Whoa, she gave it to the two blackies."
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"I heard blackies," JJ clarified in another interview. "Maybe he said 'black guys' but like, it's one of those terms that...I wasn't that drunk."
Marquel eventually politely confronted Andrew about it, with Andrew completely denying he'd said anything of the sort. But before they had that conversation, Marquel tearfully spoke about how he felt about the situation. "It hurts just because sometimes no matter how you treat a person they just have this idea of you," he said. "I hate getting emotional about it but judge me all for me. [Bleeped out curse word] It's crazy to think that the first thing people are going to recognize about me is '"Okay, he's the black guy.'" (This wasn't the first time Marquel addressed race: earlier in the season, he brought Andi cookies, asking her to share a black and white one with him.)
Racism clearly doesn't only exist on The Bachelor and Andrew shouldn't be excused for whatever he said if it was indeed offensive, but as seen from the response of the ladies of The View, having a black Bachelor would be a surprise to basically everyone with passing knowledge of the show. What's fascinating is how Marquel became so much sexier to everyone after he dealt with the possible racist comments – comments which stemmed from accurate and ubiquitous observations about the show's casting process and the length of time black contestants have stayed on the show in the past. View guest host Candace Cameron-Bure even said that if Marquel was the next Bachelor, she'd start watching the show for the first time.
Unfortunately for the ladies of The View, their fandom won't make a difference: rumors have already started that farmer Chris will be the next Bachelor. Marquel fans will have to watch him as a probable contestant on Bachelor in Paradise, where yes, it looks like he will be the only black guy.