Former Bachelor casting producer Jazzy Collins spoke out about the show's diversity issues on Instagram.
In an open letter to ABC, she talked about her experience as the only Black person in casting.
She also explained why the show needs more diversity among the cast and producers.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have gotten heat for years about its lack of diversity in casting. And now, one former casting producer for the reality TV franchise is speaking up about her experience.
Jazzy Collins recently shared on Instagram an open letter she wrote to ABC, which produces The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. In it, Collins said that she worked on the shows for five seasons. "During my time at The Bachelor/Bachelorette, I was the only Black person in the casting office from when I was hired for casting the first season of a Black Bachelorette through the four seasons I worked on afterwards," she said. Collins added that she and her colleagues were asked to create a "very diverse cast" for the Bachelorette season of Rachel Lindsay, who is Black, and she was "excited to be an integral part of the show’s history."
"My hope was that having a racially diverse cast of gentlemen would be an important milestone that would continue into the future. That was not the case," Collins continued.
The casting producer (who now works at Netflix's The Circle, according to her Instagram bio) pointed out that, after Rachel’s season wrapped, "it went back to the status quo: The cast was predominantly white." The only Black women who were picked for shows, she said, had weaves or chemically straightened hair. They weren’t considered if they were "too Black," had afros, braids, locs, or didn’t meet "white standards of beauty," Collins said.
A post shared by Jazzy Collins✨ (@jazzynicolecollins) on Jun 12, 2020 at 12:38pm PDT
"Once I developed a voice for myself in the office to speak out on issues, I was hit with many microaggressions, including being called 'aggressive,'" she recalled. "I felt alone. While walking through the production and post offices, I only saw a total of three Black people. Soon after I left the show, I found out the only [other] Black cast producer was also no longer with the team."
Collins then addressed show producers directly in her letter: "Your show has white-washed for decades, inside and out. Your head of post-production is white. Your Casting Director is white. Your Executive in Charge is white. You only cast the token Black person, Asian person, or Latinx person to satisfy what you believe to be the needs of the viewers."
Collins added that while she’s "happy" the show has cast Matt James as its first Black Bachelor ever, she noted that it took a global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement to make it happen. Now, she wrote, she wants the organization to increase its diversity in cast and crew moving forward.
"Not only is it important to have a diverse cast reflect what the rest of America looks like, it’s important for the production and casting teams to be able to share the same experiences as the cast members," Collins said. "You’re expecting a white team to be able to intimately produce people of color on an emotional level they’re truly unable to relate to. A Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous man or woman should not have to walk on a set for up to eight weeks and stare at a crowd of white faces while they pour their heart out on national TV without also having a diverse, understanding team to guide them through the process."
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