A new season of “The Bachelorette” is underway and the show’s lead Charity Lawson is carrying on the torch as the fourth Black woman to star on the popular dating competition show.
“The Bachelor” franchise has a long history of controversy stemming from issues involving race and alleged racism. Lawson already knew what she was getting herself into after she was selected to star in Season 20 and have 25 male singles compete for her love.
Coming out of her standout role on season 27 of “The Bachelor,” Lawson became a fan favorite with her natural confidence, compassion for others, and magnetic smile. But the family and child therapist faced new battles once the spotlight was on her.
Starring as only the second monoracial Black Bachelorette to lead the series, Lawson knew the show was making “strides,” but still had a long way to go, she told Insider.
The Columbia, Georgia native opened up about the advocating she was doing behind the scenes to make sure she was represented properly.
“With the people that work on the show and everything… I had to have moments where I advocated for things,” she explained.
“Just speak[ing] up about certain things that they were — I don’t wanna say oblivious to — but maybe just not on their radar, because they don’t necessarily have to think about these things.”
Some of the things she advocated for included securing a hairstylist “who can treat African-American hair,” and “makeup artists, all those things that we’re just not really always aware of that are needed differently when it comes to women of color.”
It also included “having important conversations regarding race on the show,” where Lawson made sure the men on the show were “aware” of the challenges she faced as a Black woman.
Lawson follows Rachel Lindsay who made franchise history as the show’s first Black Bachelorette in 2017. Michelle Young took the lead in season 18, and Tayshia Adams replaced Clare Crawley on “The Bachelorette” midway through season 16.
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