I’ve probably watched a cumulative total of three hours of ABC’s reality dating show “The Bachelor.” The 15th season with Bachelor Brad just finished strong, and the seventh season of spin-off, “The Bachelorette,” (the show that picks up popular castoffs from the curb and puts them in the driver’s seat) is shooting now.
It spawned derivatives like “Flavor of Love,” and “I Love New York,” both on Vh1. We tend to be all up in arms over how these shows make black women (and other attention whores) look like gold-diggers so thirsty they’ll fight to drink from the same cup as a D-list, irrelevant celebrity. Let’s be honest: “The Bachelor” is the same thing, a bunch of white girls who don’t really have good jobs trying their hardest to be chosen by a man who, by virtue of network-TV given fame and fabulous dates paid for by sponsors, will turn their whole lives around. This they know for sure after like 6 weeks, and no one calls them groupies in the process.
However, now I suppose we should thank Vh1 for giving people of color a vehicle to compete for “love.” Because according to Mike Fleiss, creator of “The Bachelor” franchise, it won’t happen on his show.
Entertainment Weekly’s Inside TV blog interviewed Mike Fleiss, creator of “The Bachelor,” and asked point blank, “Will we ever see a bachelor or a bachelorette who is not white?”
“I think Ashley (the new Bachelorette) is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”
There you have it, these are the kinds of people calling the shots in Hollywood, folk who think it’s cool to make a lily-white show and “wedge” some color in as an after thought.
Are we to believe that in the 15 seasons the show has been on the air Mike pored over thousands of headshots and went, “Man I can’t believe there aren’t any ‘African-American chicks’ in the entire country who want to be on my very popular television show!” Sounds like he’s really broken up about it, huh?