“No one better to show Bachelor Nation, & the world, the beauty of embracing diversity! So excited for you Rachel! #thebachelor #diversity,” Nick Viall tweeted Feb. 13 about Rachel Lindsay, former contestant on season 21 of “The Bachelor,” becoming the first African-American bachelorette for the future season of “The Bachelorette.”
Beside the fact of Rachel still a contestant on the show when this was tweeted, it was not the only uproar that rose from the news Viall shared. Once again, the topic of diversity started to rally.
So, let’s talk about diversity in television. Before writing this, I researched the topic a bit to read about what other people’s thoughts were. I read an opinion article from CNN titled, “TV too diverse? Why it’s only the beginning,” written in 2015. In the article, Nellie Andreeva, Deadline’s TV editor, is criticized for wondering in a personal column if in this “sea of change (if)the pendulum has swung a bit too far in the opposite direction.”
I’m wondering what she’s thinking now in 2017. Diversity, whether it be in the workplace, classrooms, leadership or television, is always worth acknowledging and celebrating. If everyday life isn’t, then TV is the most ethnically diverse place. Casting different ethnicities on TV is more than one accomplishment; it is succeeding in highlighting the talent that can arise from any human being. It is instilling the idea that “anything is possible” and “you can be whoever you want to be” to children at a young age as they grow up watching TV shows like “Doc McStuffins” and “Little Einsteins,” in which the cartoon characters follow their dreams and accomplish their goals despite their race or background.
Yes, an entirely different discussion can come from celebrating diversity on a show like “The Bachelorette,” but I’m specifically talking about diversity in TV in light of “The Bachelorette’s” recent announcement.
In response to Andreeva’s thoughts, I say that the pendulum has not swung as far, as hard or as much as it can. American TV shows have made tremendous headway with diversity. If the average American watches up to five hours of TV a day, the shows should continue to be or strive to become influential, inspirational and encouraging for all people.