Jazzy Collins, a former casting producer for ‘The Bachelor’, criticized the show for only casting ‘ethnically ambiguous’ and ‘not too black’ cast members, shortly after the first black ‘bachelor’ Matt James was announced.
The Bachelor just announced its first ever African American male lead Matt James on June 12 but that didn’t stop former casting producer Jazzy Collins from speaking out against the show’s previous behavior and lack of diversity. Jazzy, who was also casting producer on The Bachelorette, took to Instagram on the same day as the announcement to post an open letter about her experience working on the two shows and revealed that she was being “hit with microaggressions” and labeled as “aggressive” when trying to bring up the show’s issues with race. She tagged the official Bachelor and Bachelorette Instagram accounts in the caption for the post as well as the shows’ network, ABC.
“During my time at The Bachelor/Bachelorette, I was the only Black person in the casting office from when I was hired for casting the first season of a Black Bachelorette through the four seasons I worked on afterwards,” she wrote in the letter. “While working on Rachel Lindsay’s season of the show, we were called on to have a very diverse cast. It was my first season of the show, and I was excited to be an integral part of the show’s history. My hope was that having a racially diverse cast of gentlemen would be an important milestone that would continue into the future. That was not the case.”
“After finishing Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, it went back to status quo: the cast was predominantly white,” she continued. “The only Black women that were picked to be in the running had weaves or chemically straightened hair, were ‘ethnically ambiguous,’ or were not considered if they were ‘too Black.’ Women with afros, braids, locs, etc; weren’t even given a chance because of the white standards of beauty.”
It was then in the letter that Jazzy went on to admit that once she “developed” her voice in the office to “speak out on social issues” she was “hit with microaggressions” and “called aggressive” and soon after she left the show, she found out that the “only black producer” was “also no longer with the team.” She also called the show “white-washed for decades.” “You only cast the token Black person, Asian person or Latinx person to satisfy what you believe to be the needs of the viewers,” she said.
The letter also touched upon Matt’s casting and although she admitted that she’s glad a black bachelor will now be in the main spotlight, she explained that “it took a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement” to do it. Jazzy ended the message by stating how it’s important to have “a diverse cast” to “reflect what the rest of America looks like.”
Jazzy’s headline-making admission comes in the midst of George Floyd‘s death, which prompted thousands of people to take to the streets to protest in support of racial justice. You can read her full letter above.
HollywoodLife reached out to ABC, and they declined to comment on the letter.