Michelle Young expresses her thoughts on the Bachelor Nation franchise's negligence.
The former Bachelorette, Michelle Young, recently spoke to Entertainment Tonight’s Cassie DiLaura at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas about how she expects the franchise to do better after Erich Schwer’s blackface controversy was not addressed during the finale episodes of The Bachelorette.
Michelle said that if she is going to stay part of the franchise, the franchise is going to change, and if it does not change, then she is going to take away her energy and put it to good use somewhere else where she can make a change. She said that it’s a lot, it’s exhausting, but she is not going to be a part of a franchise or culture that is not truly focused on changing with the times and added that they need to do better.
The third Black Bachelorette in the franchise Michelle Young said that the franchise needs to stop making false promises and address and take action when some issues like racism come under the spotlight, adding that they have been through the same thing before. She pointed out that the audience, along with the franchise, already went through the same thing when Matt James was the lead on The Bachelor and she was the runner-up and was called the token black girl.
Michelle said that she has already been through such feelings and so to go through all of it again after it was promised that the franchise would do better, things did not change, and she does not take somebody’s words for it at this point. The former teacher said that she believes in standing up for what she believes in and bringing in the change that is needed, outside of the franchise, and making sure that she is okay at the end of the day.
The former Bachelorette, who announced her separation from former fiancé Nayte Olukoya, added that she wanted to inspire the generation that is going to come and the ones who already look up to her, and that is what motivates her to do better. She said that she is passionate about making a change and about inspiring the youth because that is where she believes that change lies and she feels that it’s time to take some action. That is how she says that just being able to start her motivational speaking career and all these other things is what keeps her going.
Michelle Young was not the only one from the Bachelor Nation franchise who pointed out that Erich Schwer, who got engaged to Gabby Windey at the finale of The Bachelorette season 19, was not asked to address the Blackface controversy, even though he had released a statement on his social media about the same. Kaitlyn Bristowe also pointed out that it was not okay for the franchise to not address the Blackface controversy in the After the Final Rose episode.
She claimed that certain elements of the finale, such as reading the texts exchanged by Erich Schwer's ex or setting up a mock mansion for Zach Shallcross, who had been named the lead for The Bachelor, might have been substituted by the Blackface scandal. With so many people watching, the brand needs to develop and continue to be present, according to Kaitlyn, who also stated that she, Michelle Young, and Becca Kufrin were under the notion that they would handle the controversy better since they were all present at the finale. Kaitlyn Bristowe said that she does not want to speak for Michelle, but she is well aware that the teacher committed to being the leader of the show with a promise of change and to brushing over Blackface and acting as if they did not have enough time to address it. It was not the kind of message they were expecting the franchise to portray or give.
She added, "Did Rachel Lindsay already show us how important it is to address the issues? Becca Kufrin also said that what happened during the live finale of The Bachelorette was all sorts of bonkers and crazy, but the most important topic of discussion was simply brushed under the carpet. Her heart goes out to Michelle and all people of color who have come before her in the franchise, those who are part of Bachelor Nation, and all those who continue to be negatively impacted by the lack of change, including those who have asked for change, expected change, and felt silenced as the season finale aired. She wrote in a post that it was a conscious effort to not have it acknowledged, and that is not okay.
Additionally, Kaitlyn complimented Zach and praised him for being amazing, sweet, and kind. She also wished him luck in finding love and said that she believed there were too many candidates for the Bachelor to choose from and that America should have been allowed to decide. In light of this, Kaitlyn stated she immediately feels sympathy for Zach and will always be available if he needs help. She also knows that Zach will find this to be quite overwhelming.
Erich Schwer apologized on social media for the Blackface scandal, which involved a viral photo from his high school in which he was seen donning blackface as part of his Jimi Hendrix Halloween costume, complete with dark makeup and an afro wig. He claimed that what he had originally taken to be an expression of his love for Jimi Hendrix was just ignorance. Erich claimed that he will always regret his insulting and detrimental behavior and that he was unaware of the negative effects of it on the Black community and those closest to him. Erich, who had just gotten engaged, had previously expressed his tremendous guilt over his behavior and understanding that accepting responsibility requires more than just an apology.