During Rosemaster Chris Harris’s post-Bachelor 16 conference, Reality TV World asked about Emily’s season, including why ABC picked her over, say, one of Ben’s rejects. In his answer, Chris seemed to lash out against Emily’s early critics (who have yet to be as loud as Courtney Robertson critics, but give them time).
BACHELORETTE BIAS AGAINST SINGLE MOMS?
“It was really just knowing that Emily was lightning in a bottle,” Chris said of why ABC execs picked her for the Season 8 gig. “She is just such a compelling story, an amazing woman and has so much to offer in the way of just great storytelling. I think it is going to be very telling for — and I don't know if it's for the reasons that people see — I think that people see this beautiful blonde and she was on Brad [Womack]'s season. But what I see is this single mom and we've never done that before, and that's really what I find interesting — the double standard. When you have Jason Mesnick and all of the fans go, ‘Oh, look at the sweet single dad. It's so cute!’ Well, Emily's not really getting the same reaction. Why doesn't she deserve the ‘Ooh's and Ahhs’? Instead it's, ‘Oh, what is she doing coming back?’ And ‘What's she doing with her kid?' and 'nice parenting?.'"
Chris said the season is definitely going to focus on Emily as a mom, and not have her child on the backburner — as little Ty kind of was during Jason’s Bachelor Season 13.
“The double standard against the single mom is very compelling to me,” Chris continued, “and as we head into these dates, these guys are going to have to realize, ‘This isn't a frat house. This is a single mom. This is a family,’ and we're going to incorporate that into the show — like her daily life and what she has to do. It's not always pretty. I mean, I have two kids and I'll tell you right now, it's not always sexy and it's not always fun. So it'll be interesting to see if some of these guys get into this and say, ‘Hey, this isn't what I signed up for. I'm out of here!’ And I'll be interested to see if we don't have some fallouts this season.”
No one on the planet is entitled to universal contestants. Her critics have yet to represent the majority, and most likely won’t gain in number after the Season 8 premiere.
However, in their defense, there are some valid reasons to challenge Emily’s casting. There was understandable frustration when the news broke that Emily would be the Season 8 Bachelorette, since she spent last summer refuting rumors that she was going to take the gig — and she even tweeted point-blank that she didn’t want to be the next Bachelorette. Emily was also vocal about how much she and Brad were upset about the media and tabloid coverage. She seemed to just want to retreat into a quiet, normal life in Charlotte. So it was a surprise to many viewers to see her voluntarily jump back into the fray — taking six-year-old daughter Ricki along for the ride.
There’s also the idea that Little Ricki’s father is, unfortunately, deceased, whereas comparatively, Jason’s ex was still in the picture during filming. Some people don’t think Ricki should have any part of filming, but Emily has said she will be around for part of it — and she has to give her approval of Mom’s final choice. (Jason did have his son Ty meet his finalists, Melissa Rycroft and Molly Malaney, but Ty’s opinion was the least of Jason’s issues by the time the finale came around.)
There’s also just the sad reality that the women of Bachelor Nation tend to be more criticized then the men — with the comments usually coming from other women. Ben has been taking heat for picking Courtney, but not half as much heat as Courtney has taken on her own. Season 7 Bachelorette Ashley Hebert got as much flak as Bentley Williams for the mean things HE said behind her back. And after the breakup of Season 6 Bachelorette couple Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez, it seemed like a lot of fans put the blame squarely on Ali. All Bachelorettes take heat for something — their looks, their overly-emotional personalities, their lack of emotions — and for Emily, the easiest fault to find, at this point, seems to center around her role as a mom: “What about Ricki?”