Rachel Lindsay is speaking out. The former Bachelorette is calling for a moratorium on the Bachelor franchise until it addresses and resolves its multiple controversies regarding racism and inclusivity.
"They’re about to go into production for The Bachelorette... [and] I think they should just stop until… they get the train back on the tracks," Lindsay said on Tuesday's episode of her podcast, Higher Learning, which she hosts alongside Van Lathan.
"You’re going to go another season, but you still have all of these issues. How have you fixed them coming into a new season? You really haven’t," she explained. "I think that they need to take a beat, figure things out, regroup and then bring the product back to us in a way that we can all enjoy it like we used to."
The Bachelor franchise has been rocked by scandal and public outcry in recent weeks after host Chris Harrison faced criticism for defending Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions during an interview with Lindsay.
Both Harrison and Kirkconnell have since apologized, with the host announcing that he's "stepping aside" from the franchise "for a period of time."
After Harrison's exit, Lindsay disabled her Instagram account because Bachelor fans were "spamming her with all kinds of rude and hateful things," Lathan previously said in a post defending her.
"I woke up, looked at my phone, one of the first things I saw [was] something negative and I said, 'You know what? Not today. Not even this weekend,' and currently still not now because I'm still disabled," Lindsay explained. "It was the best decision that I could do for myself to detach from that negativity. I needed that. I feel so much better. I'm not 100%, but I feel lighter."
During the episode, Lindsay slammed the franchise for not speaking out amid its ongoing racism controversy.
"Everyone who's been at issue has issued an apology except for the franchise, except for the network, except for the production company. You need to hear something from them," she said. "... They need to come out and say something. They need to grab ahold of this and control the situation because right now, you're letting your fans speak for you."
"This is an audience that you have curated for 15 years until you have the first lead of color: Me. You have built this. These people feel that they had their world and now people of color are trying to mess it up," Lindsay continued. "You did this. So you need to speak out and you need to say something. You need to undo it. And, at the moment, they're silent."
On Monday evening, the executive producers of the series did release a statement against the online harassment Lindsay has received, although it did not address the overarching controversy facing the show itself.
Meanwhile, with Harrison deciding to temporarily step back from his role as host, the show announced that Emmanuel Acho has been tapped to host the upcoming Bachelor: After the Final Rose special.
Recently, Acho revealed that he'd actually been approached to be on the show twice, but turned it down.
"I don’t think I could do it," Acho said during an appearance on the Talking It Out podcast with Bachelorette alums Bryan Abasolo and Mike Johnson. Acho revealed he'd been approached in 2017 and then again after the publication of his book, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.
"I couldn’t be the Bachelor because I feel like people would judge me," the former NFL star said. "Like, 'You were just kissing her and now you’re kissing her? Why are you so grimy? I thought you were about uncomfortable conversations, not uncomfortable makeouts.' I ain’t got no time for that. I’m like, let me just have my conversations. I don’t need no dream suites, no home visits."
For more on the Bachelor franchise's ongoing controversies, see the video below.