Former Bachelorette Michelle Young wants to see some changes made in Bachelor Nation. She’s speaking out about producers’ decision to ignore contestant Erich Schwer’s Blackface controversy during the season finale of The Bachelorette.
Like many fans of the show, Michelle expected the topic to be at least mentioned on the show, especially since the news of Erich‘s high school yearbook photo of him in Blackface and an Afro wig only came out a few days prior to the finale. Erich issued an apology on social media, but Jesse Palmer never mentioned it. The producers seemed to just sweep the incident under the rug. “La la la, nothing to see here.”
“If I’m going to stay a part of this franchise, this franchise is gonna change,” Michelle told ET. “And if it’s not going to change, then I’m going to take my energy somewhere else where I can make a change. And it’s a lot, it’s exhausting, but I’m not going to continue to be a part of something that isn’t truly focused on changing with the times. We need to do better.”
Michelle, who was the third Black Bachelorette following in the footsteps of Rachel Lindsay and Tayshia Adams, said that the show has to do more than make false promises when it comes to issues of racism and take postive action. She’s not going to participate in any hiding heads in the sand and pretending everything’s okay just the way it is.
“We’ve already been through this before,” Michelle adds.
Michelle contined, “We’ve been through this with Matt James‘s season, me being the runner up, called the token Black girl, called whatever it is. I’ve already been through these types of feelings. And so, to go through it again, and after I was promised change, promised all these different things, I don’t take somebody’s word for it at this point.”
For Michelle, it’s all about standing up for what she believes in, being the change, outside of Bachelor Nation, and making sure that she is OK at the end of the day.
“I have to deal with this life every single day,” she says. “I don’t get to have these conversations and take off my skin. So, it comes down to protecting my energy.”
Michelle also believes that it’s up to her to inspire the next generation and those who look up to her. And that’s what keeps her motivated. “For me, what gets me up in the morning are the things I’m passionate about,” she shares.
“I’m passionate about making a change. I’m passionate about inspiring the youth, because that’s where this change lies. So kinda just being able to start my motivational speaking career, all these other things is what gets me up in the morning.”
You can’t help but admire Michelle for speaking up when she sees something wrong. Just because something has “always been that way” doesn’t mean it can’t be changed for the better.
It’s all about education, teaching people to be kinder to others. Some people disparage change as being “woke.” But as a friend told me just this week, “What’s wrong with being ‘woke?’ That just means you’ve been asleep, but now you’re awake and aware of things around you. Isn’t that a good thing?”
TELL US- DO YOU AGREE WITH MICHELLE THAT THE BLACKFACE INCIDENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED AT THE FINALE? DO YOU THINK ERICH’S SOCIAL MEDIA APOLOGY WAS SUFFICIENT?
[Photo Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin]