The Bachelor, ABC's long-running television show that purports to show people trying to find someone to love, is many things, depending on the season: insane, boring, painful, glorious. But there is one thing that's always consistent: it and its siblings The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Pad are as white as their contestants spray themselves tan.
In recent years, however, the show's producers have made a noted ever-so-slight effort to increase the number of minorities featured on the program. As outlined through the research and infographics made by Orion Hombrebueno, Larry Z. Li and Karen X. Cheng, after the show was sued in 2012, the number of minorities on both The Bachelor and The Bachelerotte increased markedly.
That doesn't mean, however, that many of them made it very far. Or that, after one sort of diverse set of seasons of The Bachelor and Bachelorette, things haven't crept back down to even less impressive numbers. Take, for instance, Marquel, a fan favorite from Andi's season of The Bachelorette who was reportedly never seriously considered as a potential Bachelor candidate. He was cast aside for current Bachelor Chris Soules, who had one black girl on his season who has already been sent home.
The candidates on this show certainly tell the producers what their "types" are, so personal preference has something to do with casting as well. But it's clear that the show's lack of diversity has prompted, if not a backlash, then a response from their audience, and even from other networks looking for an opportunity. On Wednesday, WEtv will premiere their reality show Match Made in Heaven, which stars a black man named Shawn Bullard looking for love with the help of his mother and a pastor. Shawn is being promoted as a clear alternative to those who are sick of the original Bachelor.
"Why settle for a rose," his mother says in a preview, "when you can have chocolate?"
Inline images via Karenx.com; top image via ABC