Rachel, who starred on Season 13 of The Bachelorette in 2017, was the first and only Bachelorette of color in the ABC reality series' 15-season history, and she's now expressing doubts there will ever be another.
When Us Weekly asked if she thinks viewers will see another black Bachelorette, Rachel replied during a sit-down interview, "No. I'm just being honest... No I don't."
Rachel had been openly and publicly rooting for Mike Johnson, an Air Force veteran, from Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette to become the first black Bachelor. However, the position ultimately went to Peter Weber for The Bachelor's 24th season in 2020.
"Listen, after what happened with Mike, I'm not hopeful at all," Rachel admitted. "So that's why I keep talking about it, because maybe it will start the conversation and maybe it'll change."
Rachel vented about how she doesn't understand why Mike wasn't given the starring role.
"If Mike can't get it, what's the reason?" Rachel asked.
"I've heard other cast members say, 'Okay, it's a shame Mike Johnson didn't get it,' but then okay, why aren't we talking about it? Let's have this conversation... I know people are upset. It is disappointing. He was a great candidate... I can't understand why it wasn't Mike."
Rachel also noted there have been great candidates to star onThe Bachelorette in recent years who weren't ultimately selected.
"Even after me, you've had [Seinne Fleming], you've had [Tayshia Adams], and they went back and got -- not that Hannah B. was bad, but she was like No. 9. Tayshia was No. 3 number three [of Colton Underwood's contestants]," Rachel reasoned in her interview with Us.
Although Rachel is throwing shade at The Bachelor franchise for its casting decisions, the show was a success for her because she just married her winning pick from Season 13 of The Bachelorette, Bryan Abasolo.
"I don't regret [starring on a show that lacks diversity]," Rachel insisted. "Because I'm doing exactly what I said I would do, which is one of the main reasons I said, 'Yes.' Yes, I was open to love. But I was like, 'Ooh, I don't know if it's actually going to happen.'"
Rachel continued, "But I did it because I felt it was bigger than me and they needed to see a person of color in this role for an audience who had never seen it before, and I felt I could do it well."
Now that Rachel has filmed a season, she said she's not going to stop talking about her concerns.
"Somebody's got to say something. I have to be representative of it because I've been the only one. So, I don't regret it at all because I'm going to keep the conversation going. As I said, no one else is really talking about it. So if I don't, who will?" Rachel explained.
Rachel added that no one has asked her to stop talking about the show's lack of diversity.
When Bryan was asked for his take on the controversy and whether he thinks there will be a black lead soon, the Miami chiropractor told Us, "I hope there is."
"Hopefully next year, the 25th Bachelor -- [the show's] 25th anniversary -- I think hopefully they go back and choose Mike," he said. "If not, there's another great candidate."
Rachel, however, gave ABC the benefit of the doubt in saying, "I hope I'm wrong; Prove me wrong!..."
Rachel said she's not complaining about the men who have been chosen to star on The Bachelor but rather "an issue" at hand in that "they all look the same... all 24 of them."
Rachel concluded that as the system stands, they're "not giving the people what they want as far as a diverse person of color in that role."
Rachel therefore suggested ABC should bring people from outside the franchise into that starring role.
However, the former The Bachelorette star insisted she has nothing against Peter and even had the opportunity to speak with him before he began filming the new season, which is set to premiere Monday, January 6 on ABC.
"I told him, 'Listen, I think that you are great. This is nothing personal against you.' I said, 'I don't know what you'll hear, but I was a proponent for Mike being the Bachelor. Please don't take this in a negative way, but I feel it is my place to advocate for him because I don't know who else is going to," Rachel explained to Us.
"And I said, 'Because of the way that I look and because of the way he looks and because I do think he's a good candidate, I'm going to support him, but it's not against you,' and he totally appreciated it."
Rachel laughed about how she might've been a little too honest with Peter but he was a good sport about it.