By: Julissa Catalan
ABC’s The Bachelor has long been called out for the lack of diversity among its female contestants, and this current season is no exception, with the only Black woman on the show being eliminated during Week 3 of the 10-week show.
Saturday Night Live quickly used the opportunity to parody the franchise in a skit titled “Farm Hunk,” which featured country singer Blake Shelton as the Bachelor.
Watch the SNL skit here:
“There’s so many beautiful girls here, but tonight I have to send three of them home,” Shelton begins. “Probably the two Black girls plus one of the curly-haired girls.”
Shelton’s character talks to white woman after white woman, before the Black woman finally approaches him.
“If I pick you, you’d have to move to Iowa. Would you be cool with never seeing another Black person again” Shelton asks.
More white women filter in and out of the skit, before a second Black woman enters the scene.
The skit ends with Black comedienne Leslie Jones saying to the Farm Hunk, “I know I am going home tonight. It’s Week 2, that’s when I go, I get that.”
And indeed there is validity to that statement. According to an infographic created by Karen X. Cheng, the pattern of underrepresented women getting an early boot has plagued the show since 2009.
According to Cheng, there have been very few Black, Latina and Asian women cast on the show to begin withand the few that were, were eliminated within the first few episodes.
In 2013, the number of underrepresented contestants jumped from its usual two to six. The winner, Catherine Giudici, is half Asiana first in the show’s history.
But while Season 18 featured the first Latino bacheloralbeit a blue-eyed, blond-haired Juan Pablo Galavisthe number of nonwhite female contestants dropped to three, and Galavis picked a white woman in the finale.
Cheng pointed to a very interesting correlation.
The first Asian winner and the first Latino bachelor only came after a racial-discrimination lawsuit was filed against the show in 2012.
Two Black male contestants claimed the show “knowingly, intentionally, and as a matter of corporate policy refused to cast people of color in the role of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.” The Bachelorette has run 10 seasons.
The complaint charges that this “intentional scheme” of “deliberate exclusion underscores the significant barriers that people of color continue to face in the media and the broader marketplace.”
A judge dismissed the case, citing the First Amendment.