Fans of “The Bachelor” slammed the franchise and ABC for choosing pilot Peter Weber — best known for having sex with former “Bachelorette” Hannah Brown in a windmill four times — as the next “Bachelor” instead of Mike Johnson, who would have been both the first veteran “Bachelor” and the first African-American “Bachelor.
The announcement came on Tuesday during “Bachelor in Paradise.”
“Once again the producers of #TheBachelor bailed in having fan favorite Mike as the first Black Bachelor, by once again going with the aww shucks guy in Peter. #BachelorinParadise,” one fan wrote.
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“The next bachelor should had been Mike but y’all didn’t want a black man so whatever,” another griped.
Another fan fumed, “@ABCNetwork and @BachelorABC are racist for NEVER having a black man for Bachelor! SHAME!!!!!”
“It’s a massive missed opportunity that #TheBachelor is once again going to be a white man. Mike Johnson would’ve been the perfect choice,” another tweeted. “A charming, vulnerable, and strong black Bachelor is the representation the world needs right now. There’s always season 25 though, right?”
Others pointed out how generic Weber was compared to past “Bachelors”:
Other fans expressed their disappointment via GIF:
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Part of why fans were so let down was that “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison previously told People that Johnson had a strong shot at the “Bachelor” title.
“Of course he’s a contender [for Bachelor],” Harrison said. “How could he not be a contender with that smile? He’s one of my favorite people we’ve ever had on the show. He’s a love of a man. I don’t know him that well, and I consider him a really good friend.”
Johnson himself predicted that Weber would get the gig, telling Entertainment Tonight, “Based on [the fact that] history repeats itself. I think Peter looks the part. I think it’d be a good, safe, clean season if he were ‘The Bachelor.'”
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Former “Bachelorette” (and current newlywed) Rachel Lindsay — the first “Bachelorette” of color — was disappointed in the franchise for not choosing Johnson.
“I think Peter seems like a very nice guy. He seems lovely. This is absolutely nothing against him, but how many Peters have we seen before? What season are we on? 24. So, we’ve seen 24 Peters. I’m bored. And it’s nothing personal against him,” Lindsay told Entertainment Tonight, adding that she’s sure Weber will be “great” but that she’d hoped for a change from the formula.
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“For the first time, I was very confident that we were going to see our first black ‘Bachelor.’ And so if no one else is going to speak on it, then I guess it’s my duty to say it,” she said. “I want to be hopeful, but when you have a contestant like Mike Johnson, who seems to check all the boxes, how is he not the ‘Bachelor?’ I don’t understand.”
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She lamented, “I’m sure they have some reason for not picking him, and I’m going to trust in that, but at the same time, the system isn’t working in giving us a ‘Bachelor’ who is a person of color. So we need to change the system. Something has to be done. Break the rules, step outside the box, give the people what they want!”
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Of course, one reason Johnson may not have been chosen is because he may not be looking for love on reality TV anymore. The Air Force veteran was recently reported to have gone a few dates with singer and “Bachelorette” super-fan Demi Lovato.