Former “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay said recently that she wasn’t happy with the timing of ABC’s decision to cast its first black male lead for “The Bachelor.”

What’s the news:

  • ABC announced earlier in June that it had casted Matt James as the first black male lead for “The Bachelor.” He will be the first black lead for the show in its run, as I reported for the Deseret News.
  • James was originally supposed to appear on “The Bachelorette.” But the switch came amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, police brutality and racial injustice.
  • Meanwhile, “The Bachelorette” — a sister series to “The Bachelor” — had one black lead: Rachel Lindsay, who starred on the program in the 2017 season.

Rachel Lindsay’s reaction:

“I’m excited that there’s a black Bachelor. But I hated the timing of it because it does seem like a reaction to what is happening in our country. Did a man have to die in such a public way on a national stage for you to say now is the time for us to have a black Bachelor? That’s what I hate. It’s taking away from this moment. What I wanted was some acknowledgment and some recognition that they’ve been wrong and part of the problem and that they’re going to vow to take the necessary changes to bring diversity internally and to more contestants of color on the show.”

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ABC executive Rob Mills said in a recent episode of “On Air With Ryan” that more than 6,500 people have applied so far to be on the show this season, according to Fox News.

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