The Bachelor franchise is finally addressing its race problem.
ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter previews that the next Bachelorette probably won't be white, as has been the case on the show's first 11 seasons.
"I'd be very surprised if [the Bachelorette] in the summer isn't diverse," Lee told a group of reporters. "Maybe I shouldn't have said that, but I think that's likely to happen."
ABC has taken heat for its lack of diversity on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for years. Lee pointed out that though The Bachelor has not starred a black man, it has boasted a Latino, Season 18's Juan Pablo Galavis, who endeared himself to no one with his homophobic comments. "We're doing a whole lot of tweaks. Because we have the farm team, right, which allows us to then pick the next one," Lee said, referring to the franchise's tradition of casting the next man or woman from among the previous season's batch of candidates. (The current season of The Bachelor features three non-white women.)
Lee's reveal comes days after UnREAL co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro discussed her decision to feature a black bachelor on the show-within-a-show in Season 2. "In an era when driving while black is still dangerous, there are few things less important. We want to talk about things we're incredibly passionate about," Shapiro said.