Rachel Lindsay Says She Can't Continue to Be Part of 'Bachelor' Franchise Unless Diversity Improves

The franchise's first and only black lead says there needs to be 'systemic change' on the show.

Rachel Lindsay wants to see real change in the Bachelor franchise -- starting with a black Bachelor. 

The attorney, who remains the franchise's first and only black lead in its 18-year history, spoke out in an interview with Afterbuzz on Friday, declaring that she can't be "affiliated" with The Bachelor if they don't make real progress. 

"If we're going around talking about Black Lives Matter and what's important and how we need systemic change … well then let's talk about systemic change when it comes to The Bachelor. We got to change some things there, too," Lindsay insisted. 

"I think that they have to, at this point, give us a black Bachelor for season 25. You have to. I don't know how you don't," she continued, calling the franchise "whitewashed." "And it's been asked of me, will I continue in this franchise if it continues in this way? I can't. I have to see some type of change. It's ridiculous. It's embarrassing. At this point, it's embarrassing to be affiliated with it."

Fans were hopeful that they'd see the first-ever black Bachelor in season 24, with Mike Johnson, though Peter Weber was cast in the role.

"How many Peters have we seen before? What season are we on? 24. So, we've seen 24 Peters. I'm bored," Lindsay said in a September interview with ET. "For the first time, I was very confident that we were going to see our first black Bachelor. And so if no one else is going to speak on it, then I guess it's my duty to say it."  

Weber is half-Cuban, and the franchise's second-ever non-white Bachelor, following Juan Pablo Galavis' season in 2014. In a January interview with ET, longtime Bachelor executive producer Martin Hilton opened up about the decision to cast Weber over Johnson, admitting that among other factors, Weber's ability to get emotional on camera was the reason he was cast. 

"We do what we can to bring people in from all [types of backgrounds] -- particularly looking for people of color, for sure," Hilton said. "We're trying to figure out how to do that better."

The Bachelor franchise has "no quota" for diversity, Hilton said. "We're just looking -- and it's getting harder and harder, by the way -- to find people who are really authentically there [to find love]," he explained. 

In February, Lindsay -- who led a powerful segment on Weber's Women Tell All special addressing the racist remarks aimed at women of color in the franchise -- said it wasn't enough for the show to just cast black men and women as contestants. 

"It's not about the cast, to me. You can continue to have a cast that is 'diverse,' and I'm using air quotes and I want to specify that I am, but it's about the leads at this point," she said. "It's about who is making the decisions. We need to see diverse leads."

See more in the video below.