Rachel Lindsay Says Bachelor Franchise 'Doesn't Reflect the Real World,' Claims It Won't Survive




 

Rachel Lindsay has some thoughts about the future of The Bachelorfranchise.

Following the former Bachelorette's appearance on the Women Tell All special Monday night, where she joined the stage for an important conversation about online harassment and hate, Lindsay told the Associated Press that she thinks "diversity" is currently the franchise's biggest problem.

"My biggest thing, and I almost feel like it's a responsibility for me being their only lead of color, to step out and speak about that," said Lindsay. "If I could change one thing, it's the show doesn't reflect the real world."

"You're just now having in Bachelor in Paradiseyour same-sex relationship and they had to bring someone who wasn't a cast member on the show in to make that happen," Lindsay, 34, added, referring to BiP season 6 stars Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty, who became the first same-sex couple in the franchise's history before they eventually split.

"The girls all look the same way," she continued. "My first reaction to when somebody said 'You should be on The Bachelor,' I said 'Black people don't go far on that show.' We laughed about it but it's actually true."

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Lindsay - who married Bryan Abasolo in August - added that her biggest issue with the franchise is that "the show does not reflect what the real world looks like."

"I would have women of all ages," she said. "I mean, there has to be a cut-off point, but I'd have women of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities. I would change it completely."

"I'm hopeful that if enough people continue to speak out that - I'm not going to be quiet, and I'm probably the only lead that's bold enough to speak out and say something," Lindsay continued. "But I feel like it's my responsibility. It's part of the reason why I said yes to doing the show. Because it gave me an opportunity for the audience to see someone who has never had this position in this franchise before. That is the main reason I said yes to the show, so why am I gonna stop now?"

"I honestly don't know how much longer the show can survive in this day and age, just to be honest," she said. "Social media spoils so many things. I mean, you don't even need Reality Steve. People take pictures, they give it to TMZ or some other media outlet, they're spoiling everything."

Lindsay also brought up how last year's Bachelor, Colton Underwood, and the latest Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, are not currently engaged after their respective seasons. (Underwood chose not to propose to current girlfriend Cassie Randolph on his Bachelor season, while Brown ended her engagement to Jed Wyatt before her Bachelorette season even finished airing).

"The show is either going to have to change or it's gonna end," Lindsay said.

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During the Women Tell All special on Monday, Lindsay joined Chris Harrison on stage to read out a number of hateful, racist and threatening messages the contestants this season have received.

The Bachelor alum and the women from Pete Weber's current season got emotional on the special. After the discussion, Lindsay thanked them for sharing their stories.

"As someone who has been in your shoes, I know how much courage it takes to put yourself out there, to tell your story," she said. "These people who hide behind their phones and their computers, they don't have even a fraction of the guts that you have to stand up there today and face them."

The two-night live finale of The Bachelor airs next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Share your thoughts on this season in PEOPLE's exclusive Facebook group for fans of the franchise.

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