‘Bachelor’ creator responds to report of racism investigation
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“The Bachelor” Mike Fleiss, who announced earlier this week that he was leaving the hit ABC actuality franchise, is pushing again in opposition to a report that he was being investigated for racial discrimination on the courting present on the time he stepped down.
“Since its premiere 21 years in the past, occasions have actually modified and I’d need to say we didn’t sustain with the tempo of these modifications,” Fleiss stated in a press release. “I’m pleased with the work we’ve finished over the previous 5 years to make the present considerably extra various, however I do consider I might have finished extra. Hopefully, the franchise will proceed to maneuver in the correct route.”
ABC and Warner Bros. Tv declined to remark.
The assertion got here in response to a report in Variety that Fleiss’ exit from “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” was prompted by an investigation by Warner Bros. Tv, which produces the present, into allegations of racial discrimination by Fleiss. The report stated that a variety of workers had complained to human sources, which had led to the investigation.
Fleiss, who didn’t give a selected purpose when he introduced his exit on Tuesday, didn’t instantly deny the allegations or point out the report within the assertion. However he touted the success of the franchise.
“Judging by the variety of workers weddings we’ve hosted at our dwelling and the variety of teary messages that blew up my cellphone once I introduced I had turned in my last rose, I’m fairly positive I had extra good days than dangerous, lifted extra spirits than damage emotions and go away the franchise in good arms, with extra pals than foe,” he stated.
“The Bachelor” franchise has been in crisis mode in recent years, rocked by prices of racism and bullying of contestants of shade; the just-completed season of “The Bachelor” included a contestant who had posted since-deleted tweets defending a former classmate who posed in blackface. Although it has been one among ABC’s most dear properties, it has been regularly criticized over its two-decade-plus tenure on air for cultural insensitivity and a scarcity of range.
The primary Black “Bachelorette,” Rachel Lindsay, cut ties with the franchise in 2021 following the season of “The Bachelor” which featured its first Black lead, Matt James. The season was embroiled in controversy when pictures surfaced of eventual winner Rachael Kirkconnell at an antebellum South-themed celebration. Then-host Chris Harrison defended Kirkconnell in a fiery interview with Lindsay, stoking the firestorm that finally prompted his exit from the franchise.