ABC Boss Wants More Diversity On ‘The Bachelor’

“We need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning."

Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment (Photo)
Logo for ABC reality show, 'The Bachelor'ABC
’s newly minted programming boss agrees that there needs to be more racial diversity on THE BACHELOR — but stopped short of promising to actually make that happen.

“I would very much like to see some changes there,” Channing Dungey told reporters at the network’s summer press day in Beverly Hills this morning.

Her solution:  “We need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning.  That is something I really want to put some effort towards.”

While ABC has made great strides to reflect diversity in its scripted programming — with standout hits like FRESH OFF THE BOAT and BLACK-ISH — THE BACHELOR has been cast with white leading contestants on almost every one of its 20 cycles.

Producers could almost certainly find an eligible African American, Latino or Asian leading man through simple casting.

But the network prefers to stick with its current coronation process.

“The show has been very much in a cycle, were the first runner-up becomes the lead in the next cycle,” Dungey says.  “And it has worked very well for us.”

The network’s first African American President of Entertainment faced pointed questions about whether it was more important to have a personality that viewers have already connected with instead of someone of color.

“I wouldn’t say it is more important,” she responded. “I feel that our audience is incredibly passionate and invested in the show and we would like to find a way to do both.”

Dungey declined to reveal who the next Bachelor will be when the program returns for its 21st cycle this fall.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

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Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly