Just four years ago, Rachel Lindsay made her first appearance on season 21 of The Bachelor. Not long thereafter, she became the first Black woman to lead The Bachelorette. She also appeared on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast and a few episodes of The Bachelor: Winter Games. In many ways, she is an integral and historic member of The Bachelor franchise, but her relationship with the Disney property is complicated.
As the first Black woman to lead The Bachelorette, Lindsay has always occupied a unique position within the franchise's history. At certain points in time, she was beloved by the show's fans, but things changed for her after she called out the show's former host, Chris Harrison. During an interview with Harrison on Extra, the two discussed a recent controversy involving former The Bachelor contestant Rachel Kirkconnell. Kirkconnell was called out because she was photographed at an Antebellum plantation-themed formal just three years ago. While Kirkconnell issued an apology for the incident, Harrison seemingly defended her.
After the interview, Lindsay started to get a bit of push back from members of the show's fan base. Over time, fan interactions with Lindsay began to turn from criticism to harassment. As a result, she made the decision to distance herself from the show's audience. In a new interview with Vulture, the Extra host referred to the franchise's fan base as the "Bachelor Klan" and called them “hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic."
“I received death threats and personal attacks. I had to hire people to protect me,” Lindsay said.
“I couldn’t even pretend to want to be involved anymore. I didn’t want to give people a reason to talk about me because everything I was saying was becoming a headline. And so I decided to remove myself from it all.”
Lindsay cited ABC and the show's creators as the reason for the show's aggressive fan base. She says the fan base has evolved into what it is today because they have constantly fed them "midwestern [or] southern white, blonde, light-eyed Christian" contestants. Lindsay exists outside of the traditional mold of what the show's contestants are and she no longer feels welcome.
“They have constantly given it a product it wants: a midwestern/southern white, blonde, light-eyed Christian,” Lindsay added.
“Not all viewers are like that. My Higher Learning co-host and I have divided it — there is a Bachelor Nation, and there is a Bachelor Klan. Bachelor Klan is hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic. They are afraid of change. They are afraid to be uncomfortable. They are afraid when they get called out.”
In spite of all that has taken place, Lindsay doesn't regret her time on The Bachelorette. She's gone on to host Extra and host a podcast with Van Lathan. In September, she is slated to host her own show on FOX called Judge Rachel's Court.