Marquel Martin, the lovable cookie-toting cutie from Andi’s season of The Bachelorette and the most recent male cast-off from Bachelor in Paradise, is not the new Bachelor, but not for a particularly great reason.
It was announced yesterday that the equally adorable Farmer Chris would the next Bachelor, which starts back up again in January. And while we’re obviously thrilled for this small-town boy to get another shot at love—Marquel is too—Chris getting chosen over Marquel raises a slew of issues that Marquel eloquently expressed in a blog post.
It’s entirely worth your time to read the full (and impeccably written, we might add) article, but to give you a sense of what it’s about, Marquel voiced some concerns regarding race that he has definitely dealt with in the past—even when he was on The Bachelorette. Why isn’t Marquel the next Bachelor, you ask? Well, quite possibly because the world of reality television isn’t quite ready for a black Bachelor. To put it simply, America seems ready for their first black president—who is doing a fantastic job considering the hand he was dealt and is making far larger decisions than which of the 25 girls he’d like to marry—but not the first black Bachelor?
Chalk it up to the fact that he doesn’t fit the demographic or that Chris was chosen because he was in the final five (which the show has done several times, including with Andi), but the bottom line is that if ABC is going to let a Spanish-speaking douchebag run the show, then why not one of the most lovable contestants to date, no matter what colour his skin is? While ABC has yet to issue a statement on the matter and why they really chose Chris over Marquel—who knows whether or not they will or if Marquel was ever a serious contender for the show—it’s safe to say that Marquel expresses some serious concerns, and does it in such a humble non-bitter.
Though this isn’t the first time that ABC has heard these concerns and even addressed them at one point in 2011. Producer Mike Fleiss stated that unfortunately, people of colour “just don’t come forward” and that despite the desire for ethnic diversity, willing African-American contestants just aren’t as easy to come by. So why then, when a contestant is obviously willing, are they passing him by?
And back in late 2012, before Desiree was cast as the season 9 Bachelorette, a Tennessee woman name Misee Harris wanted to be the first black Bachelorette, but her dream wasn’t fulfilled for one reason or another.
You have these jerks who go on the show only looking for one thing, or these girls just looking to start trouble or couples looking to “find love” but only end up breaking up in the end—not that everyone is like that—but when there’s an honest-to-goodness great guy that is clearly a fan favourite on the show, ABC disregards him for the simple and probable possibility that the show is just not ready to go in that direction.
Alas, while rants from either ourselves or Marquel likely won’t cause an uprising anytime soon, we can only hope, along with him and his fan base, that this choice from ABC springs some serious conversations about race and what can be done to change such decisions. With that being said, any lady to lock down Marquel is a damn lucky one, not only because she’s getting a sweet and adorable guy who is intelligent, well spoken and passionate about inspiring change—oh and he bakes cookies. Best of luck to Marquel on his search for love!