In a Hollywood Reporter interview they published last night, Lee says a show scout reached out to him about being on the show, which is pretty typical. What I find interesting about this piece is that 1) He was allowed to do it by the show’s PR at all (which is notoriously tight about what press contestants can do on their own and when, per their contracts), but also that the interview was done before the season started airing and 2) This piece references and follows a piece THR did with the production company about their casting process, which focused on them casting a “diverse” season. This suggests to me that THR wasn’t planning on running the interview, but that it was done to support the original piece (or another piece) and got cut for some reason.


Anyway, for context, this is what Lee had to say about Rachel:

I watched Nick’s season, so I got to know the people from watching. I got a phone call from one of the casting directors right after Rachel had been announced, and she goes, “So Lee, did you hear about what happened?” I said, “Yes, ma’am.” She asked if I was still interested, and I said, “Absolutely!” They asked me what I thought and I said I had been watching and that Rachel was probably the classiest girl on the season, and it was somethin’ else. Then I started really paying attention to her and who she was and learning things about her. I got more excited as time went by. The final audition went through, we flew out to L.A., and they did the first cuts and everything. It’s wild.


Kara: I won’t get too deep into it now because if the previews of the next episode are any indication, discussion about race are going to take up a lot of screen time very soon. But I’ll say this: The story about Lee’s tweet is of course what we’ve all been expecting. The idea that someone—a man in particular—could be both attracted to a black woman and suggest that Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization is nothing new to many people of color, particularly those who date white people.

The encouraging thing is I have to believe Rachel is one of the most competent people to ever appear on this show. By that extension—I’m not surprised someone like Will is around to clearly articulate to an erratic white boy why what he’s saying is problematic. It’s a skill many code-switching black people know well. Still, I’ve always been worried that due to the nature of The Bachelorette, issues like this might not be confronted as honestly as I’d like, but seeing the way Rachel has been tossing dudes aside and generally not taking too much bullshit, I’m about as optimistic as I can be. I also hope most of it doesn’t fall on her shoulders and the other cast members are able to back her up if and when problems arise—although the clip from next week of her tearfully explaining that it’s all on her is maybe a different clue.


Of course, I can also imagine a world where everything Will tells Lee goes over his head, he stick around for many more weeks and it turns out Rachel was crying about something rose-related instead. With this show, I really, truly do not know.

Kate: Jaded as I am, my money’s on it being something totally unrelated to that fight. But that’s why we’ve gotta tune in!