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Rachel Lindsay is exiting her Bachelor franchise-produced podcast following the problematic cycle with Matt James.
“For me, I have run my course when it comes to the podcast,” Lindsay announced on the April 27 episode of Bachelor Happy Hour, weeks after the March 15 finale of The Bachelor and ahead of the upcoming season of The Bachelorette. Her final episode will release on May 4, marking the end of her official relationship with the franchise.
“We started off this podcast talking about how much fun it is, and it is, and the community we’ve started, and we’re already here with the 100 episodes, and I’m proud of it and what it’s become,” she said. “For me, I’ve been struggling. That’s no secret. And it’s been really, really hard for me lately. And a lot of things that we talk about on this podcast are also about taking care of yourself and finding your peace and protecting that peace and protecting your mental health. So, for me, I just feel like I’ve come to the end of doing the podcast.”
Lindsay, who led The Bachelorette in 2017, made the announcement during the first half of a two-part show celebrating the 100 episode milestone with her co-host Becca Kufrin. Kufrin will continue to host the show, with a new co-host to be announced at a later date. “It’s a stepping away,” summed up Lindsay of the decision, while keeping open the option to visit down the line. “You should never say never. I’m definitely closing the door, but I’m not locking it and throwing away the key. I just have to, for me, walk away.”
The news comes as little surprise following the recent, controversial season of The Bachelor with first Black star James. The season, which was long overdue and meant to be historic, ultimately pulled Lindsay into the center of the ABC and Warner Bros. TV franchise’s firestorm. After her interview with Chris Harrison for Extra resulted in the longtime host taking a hiatus from the show due to his problematic comments (he will not host the upcoming season of The Bachelorette with Katie Thurston), Lindsay continued to advocate for the franchise to do better when it comes to systemic issues around diversity and inclusivity.
After speaking critically of the franchise, Lindsay experienced online bullying from viewers, which caused her to take a break from social media, and she ended up distancing herself from the franchise as James’ season continued to air; she took several weeks off from Bachelor Happy Hour and instead took to her Ringer podcast, Higher Learning, to share insight about her involvement in, and opinions on, the show.
On Higher Learning shortly after her Harrison interview, Lindsay said she planned to end her involvement with the franchise when her contract was up over the fallout and disappointment about the lack of progress from the decision-makers on the veteran reality dating series.
“I’m fucking tired. I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough,” she said on the Feb. 12 episode of the show that she co-hosts with Van Lathan. “How much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take of things like this? I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. OK, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant — who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that? I’m confused as to how you could have consultants working for you, yet what happened, just happened.” Adding, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t. I can’t do it anymore.”
Bachelor Happy Hour is a production of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures and Wondery, and is one of three official podcasts from The Bachelor franchise, the other two being Click Bait With Bachelor Nation and Talking It Out With Mike & Bryan.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Lindsay and Warner Bros. for comment.
The franchise, meanwhile, will return with back-to-back seasons of The Bachelorette and summer spinoff Bachelor in Paradise in 2021. The first cycle with Thurston is currently in production and premieres in June, while Michelle Young’s season will air in the fall.
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