Entertainment

‘The Bachelorette’ season 18 finale preview: Michelle, Nayte, Brandon

Michelle Young not the first black person Bachelorette. But after 18 seasons, she’s the first woman on the ABC reality show to have two Black/two-racial men as her final contenders.

While this is a long overdue change for a TV franchise that has and continue to fight race, inclusion and diversity, as Young has said many times before, it’s more important that her choices reflect an entire world full of people like her and finalists Nayte Olukoya and Brandon Jones.

Young has also stated in numerous interviews that she does not want to make history. Instead, she chooses the men with whom she has the strongest relationships, and when she chooses the man she wants to spend her life with on Tuesday 8/7c, he will be Black or two races.

That said, Young’s choice comforted some Black viewers, who had begun to question whether Bachelor and its sister program, Bachelorette, deliberately created scenarios where the most romantic people who were the show’s only Black lead contenders – Rachel Lindsay, Tayshia Adams, and Matt James – weren’t Black.

Intentional or not, it certainly sends a message that black romantic leads are only viable and worthy of audiences if they choose someone who doesn’t share their heritage, while black stars The whites of the franchise always choose white mates because they have more than a bunch to choose from. That kind of consistent and hard-to-miss message can undermine the cultural identity of viewers and want to see love between two people who share similar experiences and cultural and racial backgrounds.

Bachelorette, Michelle, Nayte and BrandonYoung’s heartbreakingly sweet poem about feeling often like a “black girl” growing up in a predominantly white suburb of Minneapolis said a lot and included a line about, “she girls choose last for prom but first for basketball.”

Meanwhile, Olukoya celebrates the show’s historic act for inclusion when he was one of the Young’s last four Black / biracial suitors.

“I know this is not some horrible historical event,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “But I can’t help thinking about my experience growing up in Canada. I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, attended predominantly white schools, and was raised by my mother and her family. I don’t see many people like me. And when I do, it’s mostly on TV. And many of us know how people who look like me tend to be portrayed on TV.”

Bachelorette, Michelle YoungSay what you want about this being a silly reality show, but nobody wants to be lenient when it comes to romance. And love is an emotion and a verb that all people, regardless of their race and ethnic background, should be able to cherish and enjoy.

It’s nice to see that the producers behind Bachelorette finally got the memo about that.

What do you think of Michelle and her potential soulmates Nayte and Brandon? The point is they’re all Black/bi-racial, or isn’t that a big deal? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

https://tvline.com/2021/12/20/the-bachelorette-first-black-winner-michelle-nayte-brandon/ ‘The Bachelorette’ season 18 finale preview: Michelle, Nayte, Brandon

Aila Slisco

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