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Posted: February 13, 2017

Rachel Lindsay makes history as the first black 'Bachelorette'

By Kelcie Willis

Cox Media Group National Content Desk


History is being made at "The Bachelorette" franchise. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ABC reality dating show will  cast its first black bachelorette after 33 seasons of  "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette."

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Rachel Lindsay, who is currently a contestant on Nick Viall's "The Bachelor," which is airing now, will reportedly be announced on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Monday as the next contestant on the woman-led iteration of the show.

BuzzFeed News reported Viall has appeared in the franchise three times and lost, participating in two regular cycles of "The Bachelorette" and in the summer series "Bachelor in Paradise."

Viall gave Lindsay the "first impression" rose on the first episode of the current season, becoming the first bachelor to give such a rose to a black contestant. The recipient of the rose is typically a finalist or a winner in the competition.

The news provides a spoiler of sorts for the current season of "The Bachelor," since Lindsay, an attorney from Texas, is still in the competition. The network typically does not reveal the contestant on the next season of either show until after the current season is over.

Franchise creator Mike Fleiss may have tweeted hints about the news last week, according to BuzzFeed News.

Fleiss indicated that the announcement would be coming tonight on Kimmel's show, which matches with reports. 

The news comes as a change for the franchise, which has been criticized for lack of diversity among all contestants.

Part of the blame for the lack of diversity may come from the fact that the bachelor or bachelorette participating in the next season comes pool of contestants from the prior cycle, which is usually majority-white or all-white, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"It’s worked very well for us because the audiences feel really engaged (in choosing) that candidate," ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey, the first African-American woman to lead an entertainment division, said at the 2016 Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "What we’d like to do is broaden that. We need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning. That is something we really want to put some effort and energy towards."

Viall's season has had the highest number of non-white contestants, at eight total. The only other non-white lead contestant was Pablo Galavis, who is Venezuelan-American.

ABC has declined to comment Monday. GMA made an official announcement on Valentine's Day:

Lindsay reflected on the news on Instagram after her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. "So happy for this moment!!! Thank you so much for the love and support!!!! Can't believe I am the new bachelorette...still feel like I'm dreaming."

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