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Rachel Lindsay Suggests ‘Bachelorette’ Purposefully Casts Black Men Who ‘Didn’t Date Black Women’

Calling them out? Rachel Lindsay is no stranger to putting Bachelor Nation on blast — and her latest claims seem to shine a light on the ABC dating show’s flawed approach to diversity and inclusion.

Related: Rachel Lindsay’s Most Critical Quotes About the ‘Bachelor’ Franchise

During an appearance on comedian Ziwe Fumudoh‘s self-titled variety show on Monday, May 17, the 36-year-old reality star was asked how she felt after realizing “all three of the Black Bachelors and Bachelorettes have ended up with partners who are not of color.” (Lindsay herself has faced backlash for marrying a white partner, Bryan Abasolo, whom she met on the show in 2017.)

“It’s something I was worried about before I went on the show,” the attorney explained on Monday. “I think I got a little bit more grace because I was the first [Black lead] and people were just excited that a person of color was in this role.”

Rachel Lindsay Suggests 'Bachelorette' Purposefully Casts Black Men Who 'Didn't Date Black Women'
Rachel Lindsay attends the MTV Movie & TV Awards in Los Angeles on May 16, 2021. Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

She continued, “But then I think when the next person chose someone that wasn’t Black, and then by the time we got to the third one, it was like, ‘You know what, they’re just not going to choose anybody that’s Black.'”

Lindsay was the franchise’s first lead of color and she was later followed by season 16 Bachelorette Tayshia Adams, who is currently engaged to Zac Clark. The Bachelor took 25 seasons to cast its first Black lead, Matt James, who recently reconciled with Rachael Kirkconnell following their March breakup.

The “Higher Learning” podcast host noted that Adams, 30, and James, 29, were both “held to certain standards that their white counterparts aren’t” during their seasons, claiming that “a casting issue” is to blame for the backlash.

Related: Bachelor Nation Besties! Contestants Who Found Friends on the Shows

“There was a point where I broke down on camera, and they used my tears for something else, but I was getting upset at the selection of men of color,” Lindsay added. “I also learned as I was going through my season that several of the Black men on my season didn’t date Black women.”

After approaching the show’s producers to find out more, Lindsay was apparently told that the team “found it interesting” to explore the journeys of Black men who hadn’t connected with women of color on a romantic level before.

“I said, ‘You think that’s interesting? That’s my life. I live that,'” she recalled.

Lindsay has been an outspoken challenger of the ABC franchise, especially when it comes to issues of race. Earlier this year, she faced online harassment from fans in the wake of her controversial Extra interview with Chris Harrison, which prompted the 49-year-old host to take a temporary leave of absence from James’ season. He will not be involved in Katie Thurston‘s upcoming season 17 of The Bachelorette.

“People are attacking me because they think that I’m trying to cancel someone so they’re on a mission to cancel me. I’m getting threatened,” Lindsay said during a March episode of “Higher Learning” after briefly disabling her Instagram account. “People are threatening, like, ‘Oh I have this on you. I have this, I’m just waiting till you get back on social to unleash this kind of stuff.’ You’re affecting people’s well-being. Where does it end? Where does it stop? Until you take everybody down? That really can’t be.”

Related: Rachel Lindsay and More Reality TV Stars Speaking Out About Diversity

Two months later, she confirmed her exit from the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast, which she hosted with Becca Kufrin.

“I talk about the franchise, we know I have this love-hate relationship,” Lindsay said during her final episode in May. “But I am thankful for the opportunity to do this podcast, and it has been so great and so much fun.”

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