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Generally, we proud members of Bachelor Nation know what we're going to be in for when we tune in to an episode of The Bachelorette. We know there's going to be some silly fun, someone will probably be called out for being on the show "for the wrong reasons," there will absolutely be some back-stabbing / in-fighting among the men, and we can count on at least a few tears from somebody. What we don't expect, though, are real conversations about race or being black in America, but, last night, Tayshia Adams and Ivan Hall brought us exactly that during their emotional and candid date, and the internet has a lot of thoughts about it.
After a group date that saw Ivan win a contest where the guys had to write and perform a love song for Tayshia, he was gifted a 1-on-1 date with her. While the first portion of that date just included some fun board games and home movies, the conversation portion of the evening got very deep, very quickly. Ivan opened up to Tayshia about his younger brother, who spent four years in prison because of his substance abuse issues.
Then, they began talking about the Black Lives Matter movement and how it's impacted them this year, with both of them being biracial. They each have black fathers; Ivan's mother is Filipino, Tayshia's mom is Mexican. Ivan also shared that because of his brother's time in prison, and knowing about his experience with police brutality while he was behind bars, he's had a different view of things since the murder of George Floyd and the protests this year. And, Bachelor Nation took to Twitter with some very supportive takes on this, first ever, deep look at race on a Bachelor franchise show:
Oh, yes! Truer words may have been spoken, but probably not when it comes to the Bachelor franchise and discussions about race in this country. As this tweet pointed out, The Bachelorette is now showing us only the second BIPOC lead in the 18 year, 40 season history of the entire franchise. After the groundswell of support for Black Lives Matter earlier this year, many fans (and former cast members) in Bachelor Nation began to seriously take the producers and ABC to task for not being willing to diversify the leads, and for still having mostly white casts season after season.
This is not a show that has been open to conversations about race, mostly because the topic rarely comes up when you have white leads talking to mostly white casts every season. The only example that could come close to what we saw with Tayshia and Ivan, would be during Peter Weber's recent Bachelor season, when Sydney Hightower spoke about being bullied and ostracized at her Alabama schools for being biracial. But, even then, we didn't get the depth of conversation which came from these two last night.
I'm sure we all hope that The Bachelorette airing this conversation between Tayshia and Ivan, as well as us getting our very first black Bachelor in January with Matt James as he leads Season 25, will be a sign of lasting change and a commitment to growth for the franchise. But, almost just as important, I think we'll all be eager to tune in next week and see where all of this openness leaves Tayshia's feelings for Ivan, right?
I mean, who can watch an adorable man like Ivan plumb the depths of his feelings like he did on that date (he even cried, y'all!) and not be...touched.