‘Bachelorette’ Star Rachel Lindsay Departing ‘Bachelor’ Podcast, Ending Contract With Franchise

Rachel Lindsay, former star of “The Bachelorette,” is departing her “Bachelor Nation” podcast, effectively ending her contract with the franchise.

Lindsay’s decision to exit the podcast comes after years of criticizing “The Bachelor” franchise for its lack of diversity efforts, continuously holding the dating show accountable for lack of representation both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

Lindsay’s final episodes of the “Bachelor Happy Hour,” the podcast she co-hosts with fellow former “Bachelorette” Becca Kufrin, will air as a two-part celebration starting on Tuesday and concluding on May 4, coinciding with the 100th episode of the podcast.

The next two episodes will feature Lindsay and Kufrin reminiscing about their favorite moments, while bidding adieu to Lindsay. “Bachelor Happy Hour” will announce a new co-host at a later date.

“We started talking about how much fun it is and the community we started, and we’re here with the 100th episode, and I’m so proud of it and where it’s come,” Lindsay said. “Thank you for riding with me for such a long time. Continue to ride with Becca, support her, and uplift her and this podcast as well.”

“Bachelor Happy Hour” is a production of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, in association with Telepictures and Wondery. The podcast is one of three official podcasts stemming from “The Bachelor” franchise, including “Click Bait With Bachelor Nation,” hosted by Tayshia Adams, Joe Amabile and Natasha Parker, and “Talking It Out With Mike and Bryan,” which is co-hosted by Mike Johnson and Lindsay’s husband, Bryan Abasolo — who she met on the ABC dating show. Abasolo will continue to co-host his podcast.

Lindsay was under contract with Wondery for her podcast; not directly with the franchise. Her contract for the podcast was up, and she no longer has any standing contracts with the franchise, an individual familiar with her deal tells Variety.

Warner Bros. declined to comment. A representative for Lindsay did not respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

Rachel also hosts a Spotify Original Podcast from The Ringer, “Higher Learning” with Van Lathan, where the duo dissects the biggest topics in Black culture, politics and sports. She is also a correspondent for the entertainment news show “Extra.”

As the first-ever Black star of “The Bachelorette,” Lindsay has become an integral part of the franchise, which came under fire earlier this year for a highly publicized controversy surrounding host Chris Harrison during its monumental season of “The Bachelor,” which finally featured its first Black male lead, Matt James, in the show’s 20-year history. Lindsay constantly uses her platform to speak out against race issues facing the ABC series.

Lindsay interviewed Harrison on “Extra” this past February in a conversation that garnered widespread negative backlash. During the interview, Harrison defended a contestant from James’ season, Rachael Kirkconnell, who became embroiled in a racist controversy when photos surfaced of her in attendance at a plantation-themed fraternity party in 2018.

The incident led to Harrison stepping away from the franchise. He will not host the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette” and his future with the franchise remains unclear.

Following the Harrison interview, Lindsay deleted her Instagram for a brief moment of time. In light of the social media bullying, “The Bachelor” producers released a statement supporting Lindsay and condemning the online harassment.

In the past, Lindsay has said she wanted to cut ties with the franchise. In the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Lindsay said she would walk away from the franchise if “The Bachelor” did not cast a Black star. (Days later, James was announced as the lead.)

In the midst of the Harrison scandal earlier this year, Lindsay said she would not be renewing her contract, though at the time, her representatives and Warner Bros. did not comment. “I’m fucking tired. I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough,” Lindsay said on the Feb. 12 episode of “Higher Learning.”

“How much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take of things like this?” she said in February. “I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. Okay, 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 whole consultants working for you, yet what happened just happened … I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t do it anymore.”

Aside from hosting the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast, Lindsay also would make cameo appearances on the franchise. A source close to Warner Bros. says that the door remains open for Lindsay to appear on future episodes of the franchise, if she wishes to do so.

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