JoJo Fletcher Cast as Season 12’s ‘Bachelorette’
Jojo Fletcher may not have won Ben Higgins' heart on last night's (March 14) finale of The Bachelor, but she probably got a better deal in the end: ABC officially announced her as their Season 12 Bachelorette, effectively giving her the power to choose her own fiancé.
The network’s decision to cast Fletcher as the next Bachelorette comes as a surprise to viewers who thought Bachelor contestant Caila Quinn was a shoe-in for the show. Both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have come under fire recently for their lack of diversity, and casting Quinn (who’s half Filipino) would’ve been seen as a step in the right direction, as reported by Variety.
It should be noted, however, that Fletcher’s mother is Persian, and she talks about her heritage on the official website for The Bachelor.
"I’m proud of my mother’s background despite what social opinions are. It’s important for me to stand up to people stereotyping Iranians.”
ABC, meanwhile, has yet to cast a black Bachelor or Bachelorette as its lead. Juan Pablo Galavis, who appeared on the show’s 18th season, marked the first non-white Bachelor.
The network’s former president, Paul Lee, said ABC was likely to feature a more diverse lead on The Bachelorette earlier this year, but he was later replaced with current president Channing Dungey.
“We’re doing a whole lot of tweaks,” Lee said in January. "We have the farm team, right, which allows us to then pick the next one. But I’d be very surprised if The Bachelorette in the summer isn’t diverse. I think that’s likely … The tweaks that [creator] Mike Fleiss has put in place will get us where we want to go.”
The Bachelorette is set to premiere on May 23.