Representation in the new bachelor season

Lauren Wright, Reporter

On June 12 it was announced that Matt James would be the first black bachelor on ABC’s TV show “The Bachelor”. After 24 seasons they have finally decided to let more diversity occur within the show. However, many people still think that although they have incorporated diversity this season it is too late and they are just trying to cover up how racist ABC is.

Eric Deggans, an author for NPR wrote an article about how he thinks the Bachelor is still racist and revolves around women finding a man who is upper-middle class and predominantly white lens. I agree with this statement because the past seasons have all revolved around that storyline, but I think that now there is starting to be a change for the better.

After Deggans posted on Twitter about The Bachelor’s racism a lot of people replied agreeing with his opinions about needing more realistic representation on television. For 17 years the bachelors have all been straight, white, upper-middle-class men. The idea “The Bachelor” gave was the men on the show were the representation of what all Americans wanted to be falling in love with the perfect woman. Arie Luyendyk Jr, Peter Weber, and Nick Viall were all bachelors on the show, and have the same look as the perfect white male.

On January 4, the first episode of this season’s Bachelor was released, Matt James was shown meeting all the new women who would be on this season. One of the women he met was Mearg Tareke. She is a contestant of the show who grew up in Ethiopia and made the scariest decision of her life to move to the United States. The show including her highlights that they are trying to add more diversity within the show. I think that Mearg being on the show helps remove the stereotypes of who can be on TV and allows people to realize that anyone can be on television and everyone deserves to find love.

Being a certain race to appear on TV is a stereotype that was created a long time ago and is getting removed more and more as new seasons of shows come out. A stereotype that a black person can’t be or do something is unrealistic and racist. On a show, anyone should be able to apply and be on it, not only someone who is a certain race or of a certain financial status.

My issue with The Bachelor is that it took them 18 years until they decided to put a black bachelor on the show. This should have been something that occurred within the first few seasons of the show. However, I do think this is a step in the right direction with adding people from different backgrounds. I think that the issue of race and stereotypes of who can be on a show has been dragged out and going on for too long. Anyone should be able to be on the bachelor to find love.