7 Shocking Revelations From Black ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Stars
KUPAH, KAITLYN BRISTOWE
Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell    

The Bachelor

7 Shocking Revelations From Black ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Stars

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A lot has been made about race issues on The Bachelor — it’s not exactly a new topic.

But between Jubilee Sharpe prompting the conversation on Ben Higgins’s current season and rumors of a “diverse” Season 12 Bachelorette star, it looks like some progress is finally being made.

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JUBILEE, BEN HIGGINS
Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell    

However, the show still has a long way to go, when you take into consideration a shocking 59 percent of black contestants leave the ABC reality dating shows within two weeks.

What the franchise needs to do is listen to the experiences, good and bad, of African-American contestants of years past, and go from there. Luckily, the folks over at Fusion did a lot of the leg work for them already, interviewing a bunch of black alums.

We’ve compiled some of the craziest anecdotes from these former reality stars, from those on Alex Michel’s inaugural season to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s most recent suitors. Read on for their (sometimes shocking) stories:

It became a big conversation, with everybody, everywhere I went: ‘Do you think [you were eliminated] because you’re black?’ I was like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t think it’s because I’m black at all.’ I mean, we’ve all seen my exit. I was really, really drunk..” — Kupah James (Bachelorette Season 11, Kaitlyn Bristowe)

“I’m being partial, but [my season] was the most beautiful cast. You just look at the group photo. It’s on my wall. It’s gorgeous. I have to thank Sean [Lowe] for that. He specifically asked the producers to have more diversity within the contestants, and that’s the rainbow of beauty that’s showcased that year.”  — Ashley Harper (Bachelor Season 17, Sean Lowe)

Sean Lowe Bachelor Season 17
Credit: ABC    

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“[The women] were going around the room asking, ‘Whose parents are still together? Do you have siblings?’ And they got to me, and one of the girls was like, ‘Do you know who your dad is?’ I was aghast. Absolutely aghast. At the time my parents had been married 30-plus years. Now they’ve been married for 42.” — Marshana Ritchie (Bachelor Season 12, Matt Grant)

“I was the only black woman ... When I asked one of the producers where the other black girls were, she told me something like, ‘There’s a couple of Asian girls.’ Because all minorities can be lumped together, right?” — Lindsay Smith (Bachelor Season 10, Andy Baldwin)

Andy Baldwin Bachelor contestants
Credit: ABC video still    

“I remember one of the other women asked me, ‘If you’re half black and half white, why do you call yourself black? Why don’t you call yourself white?’” — Lindsay Smith (Bachelor Season 10, Andy Baldwin)

“Every time I bring [The Bachelorette] up, that’s the first thing that comes out of people’s mouths: ‘Oh, you were the token black guy.’ And that’s horrible, especially when it was a great experience … But it’s kind of become synonymous with the [franchise]: that any black person on there is just for show.” — Marcus Pierce (Bachelorette Season 2, Meredith Phillips)

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“I think they liked my perspective, so they didn’t really have to prod me to say anything, but right before a rose ceremony, they were like, ‘LaNease, have you talked to Alex about interracial dating? Maybe you should ask him if he’s ever dated someone out of his race.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’” — LaNease Adams (Bachelor Season 1, Alex Michel)