Former Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay, Nick Viall, JoJo Fletcher, Diggy Moreland and Nicole Lopez-Alvar have come out in support of a new fan-generated Change.org petition demanding ABC's cult favorite franchise cast its first-ever Black "Bachelor" for its upcoming season 25.
Over the series' 18-year run, which includes 40 leads between TheBachelor and its sister show TheBachelorette, only one Black love interest — Rachel Lindsay — has been cast.
"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 storylines. 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 states.
The petition not only calls for a Black lead next season, but also demands at least 35% of the show's contestants throughout all upcoming seasons to be BIPOC and asks the network to hire a diversity consultant.
As of Tuesday morning, the petition has received over 62,000 signatures, nearing its goal of 75,000.
"We are overwhelmed by the support we've seen from Bachelor Nation, including notable leads and fan favorites who have signed and shared the petition. This is clearly a topic that is important to fans and cast alike, and we look forward to seeing the positive steps that ABC and Warner Bros can make in committing to anti-racism in the franchise," said the Bachelor Diversity Campaign, the fan group that created the petition.
Lindsay, season 13's "Bachelorette" responded to the fans' call to action, telling Page Six,"There's been one person of color in 40 seasons. We have 45 presidents. There has been one person of color. We are literally on par to saying that you are more likely to become the president of the United States than you are to be the lead of this franchise. That's insane."
ABC and Warner Bros have yet to respond, but the overwhelming positive response to the petition shows that diversity and change are what viewers want to see.