Rachel Lindsay criticizes ABC for waiting to cast first black ‘Bachelor’ Matt James after George Floyd’s death: ‘Hated the timing’

Rachel Lindsay recently criticized ABC for casting Matt James as the first black “Bachelor” following nationwide outrage over the death of George Floyd after he was restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.

Lindsay, 35, who was the franchise’s first and only black lead prior to James, 28, has been championing for more diversity in the show since her season aired in 2017.

While the former “Bachelorette” is “excited that there’s a black "Bachelor," she admitted on "Watch What Happens Live" that she hated the timing coinciding with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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“It does seem like a reaction to what's happening in our country. Did a man have to die in such a public way, on a national stage, for you to say, 'Now is the time for us to have a black Bachelor?'" Lindsay questioned. "That's what I hate. It's taking away from this moment."

She continued: “What I wanted was some acknowledgment and some recognition that they've been wrong and part of the problem and they're going to vow to make the necessary changes to bring diversity internally and to more contestants of color on the show.”

Lindsay said she couldn’t be “affiliated” with the franchise unless they implemented diverse changes.

“If we're going around talking about Black Lives Matter and what's important and how we need systemic change … well then let's talk about systemic change when it comes to 'The Bachelor.' We got to change some things there, too," she said on AfterBuzz TV.

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The Bachelor Matt James  (ABC/Craig Sjodin) 

The Bachelor Matt James  (ABC/Craig Sjodin) 

The “Ghosted” host told “WWHL” host Andy Cohen producers called her after that interview and said, “they're wanting to do more and make changes.”

Lindsay has also been a strong advocate for ABC to cast Mike Johnson from Hannah Brown’s season as the first black “Bachelor.”

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Mike Johnson from "The Bachelorette."

Mike Johnson from "The Bachelorette." (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images)

The reality star, however, isn’t a huge fan of James.

“The only reason people are into Matt James is because people are into Tyler,” she told Entertainment Tonight referring to James’ best friend Tyler Cameron, who competed on Brown’s season.

Lindsay added: “We don't know anything about Matt James other than the fact that he's affiliated with Tyler. So, I can't say I'm sold on him, because I know nothing about him.”

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James' season has had a record number of applicants for only five days since people could apply, ABC executive Rob Mills said during an interview with On Air With Ryan. Over 6,500 people have applied so far.

“People love this guy. It’s great," he said.