ABC Boss on Whether They'll Finally Cast the First Black 'Bachelor'

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Could season 24 finally be the one to feature a black Bachelor

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke addressed the possibility at the network's Television Critics Association summer press tour on Monday. 

"I can tell you conversations are ongoing about who the next Bachelor will be," she told ET. 

"I will say this -- I do think the show has worked hard to increase diversity in its casting and is continuing to evolve," Burke added. "And as it evolves, we'll continue to see more diversity from the franchise."

The Bachelorette featured its first black lead with Rachel Lindsay's season in 2017. Air Force veteran Mike Johnson from Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette is many fans' -- and cast members' -- pick to become the first black Bachelor. However, he told ET at The Bachelorette: Men Tell All taping last month that he had yet to be approached for the gig. 

During an interview with ET last week, ABC exec Rob Mills said that Johnson was "absolutely in contention" for the job. 

"He is just somebody that people really love. He's got a great story. We have somebody who has served our country, has really suffered through heartbreak. … You’ve got a billion-dollar smile and he looks great. He's got a following; those are the reasons he's in contention more than, 'Oh, this is so great, we can check that off now,'" he said. 

Mills also noted, however, that the next Bachelor selection depends on how things play out with the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise, which premieres on Monday. Johnson is rumored to be a contestant on the show. 

"We don't start [filming The Bachelor] until September, and don't forget Colton [Underwood] and Nick [Viall] came from Bachelor in Paradise. So there's still some people that can be...who knows? Dean [Unglert] has that mustache now. Everyone thought he was too young, now maybe that is going to work out!" he added. 

Also in contention for Bachelor are Peter Weber and Tyler Cameron -- though the latter's chances are currently up in the air, considering his apparent sleepover with Brown and Sunday night date with Gigi Hadid

See more in the video below. 

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