Chris Harrison Said He’s Trying to Make the 'Bachelor' Franchise More Diverse

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  • Chris Harrison
    Chris Harrison
    American television personality/game show host
  • Bevy Smith
    Television personality and businesswoman
Photo credit: Craig Sjodin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Craig Sjodin - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

  • Chris Harrison commented on The Bachelor franchise’s lack of diversity.

  • He was asked if he’d ever consider giving up his hosting gig briefly so the show could have a season that is “race specific.”

The Bachelor franchise absolutely blows when it comes to diversity. Just gonna state the obvious right now. No lie, you can count how many non-white leads the shows have had in the past 39 seasons on one hand. With a track record like that, it’s no wonder so many people don’t feel represented when they watch the show. And as the seasons go on, the calls for more racial diversity get louder.

During one of his latest radio interviews, host Chris Harrison was asked by Bevy Smith when ABC will make the show reflect what America actually looks like. After Bevy said, “C’mon, Chris. What’s the deal, babe? How can we get this fixed?...There’s no black and brown people that go the distance, really. It’s disheartening,” Chris admitted the show is way behind and is trying to catch up.

Photo credit: Craig Sjodin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Craig Sjodin - Getty Images

Chris claimed there weren’t a ton of people from different backgrounds during early casting calls for the shows and the producers had to “beg” people to come audition. He recalled, “We had to stop and think, ‘Why?’ You know, is it the chicken or the egg?”

He then added:

“What we realized is if you don’t see yourself represented—no matter if it is on TV or in a club or whatever—you’re probably not going to want to attend. You’re not going to feel comfortable. So we had to take that first step, and we have done better at casting and putting more diverse people on the show, therefore you see yourself represented more. Again, I think it takes a long time to turn around a big boat. We needed to take that step and I think we’ve done much better in the last few seasons for sure. We’ll continue to do that.”

Ultimately, Chris’s end goal is to “get to the point where everybody feels represented and you’re just picking the right person.” So when Bevy followed up and asked him if he’d ever consider handing over the hosting crown to someone else for a “race-specific” season, he joked, “I would rather not lose my job in this.” He went on to explain why he doesn’t think that’s the answer to the franchise's problem:

“That’s kind of what happens in this country right now,” he began. “The pendulum swings so far from one side to the next. I don’t know if the answer is to go all the way to the opposite side to where the other side doesn’t feel represented. My goal is to hopefully find that sweet spot in the middle.”

Guess we’ll see how this all pans out!

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