ABC has some huge balls for playing the race card during Black History month as it was announced that The Bachelorette will finally have its first lead in Rachel Lindsay. Lindsay, a Texas attorney, and current contestant on Nick Viall’s The Bachelor will look to prove ABC has missed the mark during the shows great turn as they have declined to offer the role to any African-Americans during their run.
But, why now?
That’s a question that will go off in many heads as the news starts to grow. Usually, ABC doesn’t announce its next lead until after the wrapping of the current season but for some strange reason, they have decided to break tradition and announce now. Could it be due to the race issues that we’re facing, looking to haul in the black viewers, was it just the right time or is it because it’s Black History Month? We will never know but, what we will get is a statement like this from ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey:
“It’s worked very well for us because the audiences feel really engaged [in choosing] that candidate” she of the process. “What we’d like to do is broaden that. We need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning. That is something we really want to put some effort and energy towards.”
I understand this reasoning of diversity but I would like to know why, why now? With news that Lindsay will be the new lead that also shoots down the notion that she will not win this season either. I guess it’s a bittersweet moment for her but what about the fans that have come to cheer for her? What does this actually mean for the show? The hopes are that it means bigger ratings with the non-white households.
ABC has shows with a strong African-American lead already with Kerry Washington in Scandal, Viola Davis as Annalise Keating in How To Get Away With Murder, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy and the Black-ish cast. ABC has finally decided to go for the gusto here and I applaud their efforts but I, like them can’t wait to see if their plan works.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette is still ratings gold with 7.05M viewers in per episode in 2016 and as far as ads go, the network has made $184 in revenue from said ads. Now, you add in a black lead and that sets off another avenue for ad revenue. It’s a risk that ABC is taking, and while it may work it may also backfire causing the network to rethink another black lead.
It’s pressure but this is TV. ABC is used to pushing the rules, just not changing them.