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Racism, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, and Sexism: Is it time to put The Bachelor to bed?

by Payton Toomey

After COVID, countless scandals and many questionable decisions, many fans think The Bachelor franchise has finally run its course. According to his Instagram, Chris Harrison officially stepped down from his role as host on Tuesday after defending the racist actions of a contestant during an interview in March with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette. Rachael Kirkconnell, the contestant Harrison defended, was facing backlash for the multiple Instagram posts that resurfaced including one from an Old South Antebellum party she attended at a plantation while in college.

In the March interview, Harrison stated, “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018? Or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.” This comment outraged fans because the actions of the contestant were just as wrong in 2018 as they are in 2021. 

Since the interview, Harrison has not attended any of the ceremonies or finales due to backlash, so his decision to step down is not of much shock to anyone. 

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the franchise has been hit with allegations of seriously shocking behavior. In 2017, a sexual misconduct investigation was launched when a hookup occurred between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, during which Olympios was too intoxicated to give consent. The chilling part about this is that producers and cameramen watched and filmed as the incident occurred, with no one stepping in to help Olympios.  In 2019, Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss was accused of beating his pregnant wife after she refused to get an abortion. The actions of those behind and in front of the cameras over the years have been very disturbing. 

Not only have there been countless horrifying scandals, but the portrayal of gender stereotypes on the show is seriously tired, and problematic. The show pits women against each other for the sake of entertainment, and that is simply not okay. The entire premise of the show is outdated, and while they have poorly attempted to keep up with the times—casting more people of color and some people with different sexual preferences—it’s both too late and not enough. Maybe it’s time for The Bachelor to be put to bed.

Top Photo: Screenshot from YouTube

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