What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

‘The Bachelorette’ brand has a major problem

if a known racist is on the cast, the fun of the show is dead

3:22 PMWhen ABC announced that Rachel Lindsay would be the network’s first black Bachelorette, many corners of the content creation world were happy. It was a progressive move for a show that was finally breaking into the full-blown mainstream of American entertainment society. The casting decision was the first one in a while that actually brought new viewers to the program. Now, they’ve got a massive issue on their hands that might be impossible to fix.

Lee, a contestant who came in playing a quick guitar riff and basically showing off his honky-tonk bona fides, is apparently super racist. I say apparently because in the past few days his tweets from not so long ago have been unearthed, and it’s like a bigot’s greatest-hits record.

It’s a bummer on so many different levels. No. 1, this dude is still on the show. Only ABC knows how far he goes on the program. Secondly, Lee very strangely stated in the first episode that he was going to have some issues with people in the house. Mind you, there are more black contestants this year than ever. The promos for upcoming episodes have him set up to basically be a villain. That’s one thing in Bachelor Nation, but it’s quite another when the person in question is out here recklessly tweeting about how #BlackLivesMatter is a terrorist group. Non-update: It’s not.

But perhaps most important is whether the creators and producers of the show were aware of Lee’s social media exploits before putting him on the show. Those tweets were from last year. It’s not like these were ancient. A casual, cursory look at his history on the site would have turned these up, presumably raising a red flag about this guy’s intentions and, hello, general demeanor.

The next step in that logic is the one that no one wants to believe: that a racist was cast on purpose. If you’ve ever seen UnReal, you know that this was an actual storyline in season two that isn’t far outside of the realm of reality, pardon the pun. For all the ridiculous arcs that are pursued on a show like this, planting a bigot in the mix is not the move, at all. It’s a super joy-killer for people who tried to enjoy this show in good faith, considering it’s TV dating.

It puts the entire premise of this season in a huge moral quandary. Are we seriously supposed to keep watching a season in which a guy who clearly hates a lot of people is the main antagonist? Never mind how he deals with Rachel, a black woman, and all that entails from a societal standpoint. It’s just not a good thing going forward at all, for a season that had so much promise.

Daily Dose: 5/26/17

The Bronx salutes Khalif Browder on his birthday

3:22 PMWhen ABC announced that Rachel Lindsay would be the network’s first black Bachelorette, many corners of the content creation world were happy. It was a progressive move for a show that was finally breaking into the full-blown mainstream of American entertainment society. The casting decision was the first one in a while that actually brought new viewers to the program. Now, they’ve got a massive issue on their hands that might be impossible to fix.

Lee, a contestant who came in playing a quick guitar riff and basically showing off his honky-tonk bona fides, is apparently super racist. I say apparently because in the past few days his tweets from not so long ago have been unearthed, and it’s like a bigot’s greatest-hits record.

It’s a bummer on so many different levels. No. 1, this dude is still on the show. Only ABC knows how far he goes on the program. Secondly, Lee very strangely stated in the first episode that he was going to have some issues with people in the house. Mind you, there are more black contestants this year than ever. The promos for upcoming episodes have him set up to basically be a villain. That’s one thing in Bachelor Nation, but it’s quite another when the person in question is out here recklessly tweeting about how #BlackLivesMatter is a terrorist group. Non-update: It’s not.

But perhaps most important is whether the creators and producers of the show were aware of Lee’s social media exploits before putting him on the show. Those tweets were from last year. It’s not like these were ancient. A casual, cursory look at his history on the site would have turned these up, presumably raising a red flag about this guy’s intentions and, hello, general demeanor.

The next step in that logic is the one that no one wants to believe: that a racist was cast on purpose. If you’ve ever seen UnReal, you know that this was an actual storyline in season two that isn’t far outside of the realm of reality, pardon the pun. For all the ridiculous arcs that are pursued on a show like this, planting a bigot in the mix is not the move, at all. It’s a super joy-killer for people who tried to enjoy this show in good faith, considering it’s TV dating.

It puts the entire premise of this season in a huge moral quandary. Are we seriously supposed to keep watching a season in which a guy who clearly hates a lot of people is the main antagonist? Never mind how he deals with Rachel, a black woman, and all that entails from a societal standpoint. It’s just not a good thing going forward at all, for a season that had so much promise.

Daily Dose: 5/25/17

Ben Carson is still wilin

3:22 PMWhen ABC announced that Rachel Lindsay would be the network’s first black Bachelorette, many corners of the content creation world were happy. It was a progressive move for a show that was finally breaking into the full-blown mainstream of American entertainment society. The casting decision was the first one in a while that actually brought new viewers to the program. Now, they’ve got a massive issue on their hands that might be impossible to fix.

Lee, a contestant who came in playing a quick guitar riff and basically showing off his honky-tonk bona fides, is apparently super racist. I say apparently because in the past few days his tweets from not so long ago have been unearthed, and it’s like a bigot’s greatest-hits record.

It’s a bummer on so many different levels. No. 1, this dude is still on the show. Only ABC knows how far he goes on the program. Secondly, Lee very strangely stated in the first episode that he was going to have some issues with people in the house. Mind you, there are more black contestants this year than ever. The promos for upcoming episodes have him set up to basically be a villain. That’s one thing in Bachelor Nation, but it’s quite another when the person in question is out here recklessly tweeting about how #BlackLivesMatter is a terrorist group. Non-update: It’s not.

But perhaps most important is whether the creators and producers of the show were aware of Lee’s social media exploits before putting him on the show. Those tweets were from last year. It’s not like these were ancient. A casual, cursory look at his history on the site would have turned these up, presumably raising a red flag about this guy’s intentions and, hello, general demeanor.

The next step in that logic is the one that no one wants to believe: that a racist was cast on purpose. If you’ve ever seen UnReal, you know that this was an actual storyline in season two that isn’t far outside of the realm of reality, pardon the pun. For all the ridiculous arcs that are pursued on a show like this, planting a bigot in the mix is not the move, at all. It’s a super joy-killer for people who tried to enjoy this show in good faith, considering it’s TV dating.

It puts the entire premise of this season in a huge moral quandary. Are we seriously supposed to keep watching a season in which a guy who clearly hates a lot of people is the main antagonist? Never mind how he deals with Rachel, a black woman, and all that entails from a societal standpoint. It’s just not a good thing going forward at all, for a season that had so much promise.