In its 18-year history, the Bachelor franchise has only ever featured one black lead. Bachelor Nation is ready to see some change.
Franchise alums like Tyler Cameron, Rachel Lindsay, Lauren Burnham, Seinne Fleming, Nicole Lopez-Alvar, Nick Viall, Diggy Moreland and more have signed a Change.org petition titled "A Campaign For Anti-Racism in the Bachelor Franchise," demanding more diversity and representation amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Over 20,000 people have signed the petition so far.
"ABC and Warner Bros. have been producing Bachelor content for 18 years. During that time they've cast 40 season leads, yet only one Black lead," reads the petition. "This is unacceptable. As creators of one of the most popular and influential franchises on television, ABC and Warner Bros. have an opportunity and responsibility to feature Black, Indigenous, People of Color ('BIPOC') relationships, families, and story lines. The franchise, and all those who represent it, should reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country -- both in front of and behind the camera."
The petition is calling for a black Bachelor for season 25, at least 35 percent of each cast to be made up of BIPOC, hiring a diversity consultant to be present for all parts of the show and vetting contestants more thoroughly to ensure those who have promoted prejudice in the past are not cast, among other demands.
"#TheBachelor is my guilty pleasure, but they have needed diversity for quite some time. With such a massive audience, they have the opportunity to make CHANGE. I'm excited to see what this #BIPOCBachelor campaign brings. Oh and #MIKEFORBACHELOR @BachelorABC @bachdiversity," one fan wrote on Twitter.
"Why has there never been a black Bachelor? #BachelorSoWhite," read another tweet.
Another added, "Honestly, couldn't agree more. I don't want to see 20 Hannahs go after 14 Chads every season. @bachdiversity #bipocbachelor."
Lopez-Alvar tweeted, "Thank you, @bachdiversity. Diversifying the cast diversifies the audience, which creates a community with open doors — one that invites viewers of all backgrounds, ethnicities, & ages to experience @BachelorABC, and to even apply themselves. #BIPOCBachelor."
The petition comes as Lindsay, the franchise's first and only black lead, spoke out about the lack of diversity in Bachelor Nation, saying she'd cut ties with the franchise if things don't change.
"You never want to bite the hand that feeds you, but you also do not want to be aiding and abetting problematic behavior," she wrote on her blog on Monday. "I am affiliated with this franchise, and to be silent on some matters is to still be complicit with these cycles of detrimental conduct. If you saw your brother or sister continually doing something wrong, would you not hold them accountable? This is the reason that I have come to the conclusion that if changes are not made on the inside and outside of the franchise, I will dissociate myself from it."
See more in the video below.