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What If We Just Skipped 'The Bachelorette' Entirely?

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What If We Just Skipped 'The Bachelorette' Entirely?

It’s been emotionally exhausting to be a part of Bachelor Nation lately, especially in the wake of the news that Chris Harrison is planning on returning to the franchise as the host and the next lead of The Bachelorette will not be one of the diverse women who made it to final five, but instead a white woman who finished 11th. While I speculated about who the next Bachelorette could be based on the edit she got from the show and at the Women Tell All reunion and came to the conclusion that a switch from Katie to Abigail seemed likely, Reality Steve recently reported that the producers seem to be sticking with their original pick. But are we even ready for a new Bachelorette season at all?

Former lead Rachel Lindsay recently suggested that the show needs to take a breather and sort out some of its ongoing issues before it jumps right into another season. “I think that they should just stop until … they get the train back on the tracks,” she said on one of her podcasts, "Higher Learning." “I think that they need to take a beat, figure things out, regroup and then bring the product back to us [in] a way that we can all enjoy it the way that we used to."

I think she’s right. Before we bring a whole new cast of reality TV characters into this franchise, ABC needs to figure out why people with racist pasts keep making their way onto seasons that feature landmark leads of color and diverse groups of suitors. Either people like Rachael Kirkconnell and Lee Garrett are slipping through the cracks of the casting process (which is hard to believe considering what some of the other stars have said about producers commenting on their social media behavior) or the show has prioritized the potential “drama” it brings over the harm it perpetuates. That’s an issue that will continue — and it’s not solved simply by picking a white lead. After all, we saw how Lee’s antagonism affected not just Rachel, but the contestants around him.

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