Okay real talk for a second: are there seriously still people in America who aren’t ready for the first African-American woman to star on The Bachelorette? And I mean other than the ones who obviously work at ABC. In seventeen seasons on the air, the show has never centered on someone who was anything but white or mildly tan. But before you complain, what you probably don’t realize , is that that the demographics highlight on The Bachelor and Bachelorette match up perfectly to statistics nationwide — everyone knows that for every seventeen people in every walk of life, 100% of them are white, beautiful, and willing to compete for a stranger’s affections with twenty-four other people exactly like them on national television. Those are just facts.
But for those of you who can see that for the sarcasm that it clearly is, you might be interested in hearing about Misee Harris. She’s started an online petition over social media to be the next Bachelorette, and it’s gaining momentum. She’s a 28-year old dentist, and even though the past eight seasons have featured women rejected from The Bachelor, Misee actually has her own foothold in the show. She had originally auditioned for Sean Lowe‘s season which is currently airing, but by the time she was invited to join the cast, she had decided she didn’t want to be the token person of color on the same racially-homogenous show they’ve been pumping out this whole time.
“I realized that being the Bachelorette would give me a better opportunity to find love and a stronger platform for all of my creative dreams and charity work. It also would allow me to inspire other black women and girls to dream big and know their worth.”
Since then, Misee has started a Facebook page, where she already has 16,000 likes from people who’d like to see her on next season. But even though it’s still a relatively small moment, it’s something that the ABC producers would be wise to take note of. They’ve been criticized extensively for the show’s lack of diversity, even being sued by two men who said the show’s refusal to cast a black Bachelor or Bachelorette constitutes racism. Although the suit was thrown out, ABC released the following statement:
“This complaint is baseless and without merit. In fact, we have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.”
I mean nice try, guys, but throwing a few token people of color on a season where they’re going to eliminated by a white guy or girl in the first couple rounds doesn’t constitute ‘seeking diverse candidates’. Casting a black Bachelor or Bachelorette is way overdue, and Misee would be the answer to all your prayers. As far as I can tell, the show’s only real requirements are a trusting heart, a bikini-ready body, a thirst for Chardonnay, and an impressive tendency to overreact. Boom, nailed it.
(Image: thegrio via Sandra Dee’s Photography)