It’s hardto believe that there have been 23 seasons of ABC’s hit show The Bachelor,yet here we are. Each season has brought the fans drama in a myriad of differentways — from highly controversial contestants caught lying, fighting, andgenerally being shady to unexpected weirdness at every turn, The Bacheloris always funto watch.
However, you might notice something familiar about the maincharacters on the dating and relationship reality show. While the bachelor isalways someoneunique, personality-wise, they’re always young, attractive, heterosexualmales. And according to host Chris Harrison, it’s always going to be that way.
‘The Bachelor’ knows how to do one thing well
When The Bachelor started in 2002, they couldn’t haveknown how successful the franchise would become. It was an experimental time inreality competition shows, with vintage programs like Survivor just gettingstarted.
Now The Bachelor remains one of the longest-lasting, highest rated, and most successful of the bunch. It spurred multiple spinoff shows including The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and more. Fans of the genre even have their own classification: Bachelor Nation.
But just because they’re popular it doesn’t mean producers feelcomfortable experimenting with new avenues or pushing the envelope when itcomes to who they choose to participate.
Chris Harrison revealed why his bachelors will always be young, fit,and straight
In a 2014 interview with New York Times Magazine, longtime Bachelormainstay Chris Harrison explained why show producers had no interest in alteringthe show’sformula for success anytime soon.
“The question is: Is it a good businessdecision? I just spoke at U.S.C. the other night, and I explained it like this:Look, if you’ve been making pizzas for 12 years and you’ve made millions ofdollars and everybody loves your pizzas and someone comes and says, ‘Hey, youshould make hamburgers.’ Why? I have a great business model, and I don’t knowif hamburgers are going to sell.”
Harrison says he personally supports equality, but that doesn’tmake it right for the show
During the interview, Chris Harrison made a point to explainthat his personal convictions had little to do with the decision of who toinclude — and who to leave out.
“Is our job to break barriers, or is it abusiness? That’s not for me to answer,” he said. “If you want to talk aboutthat with me on a philosophical level, I’m happy to: I am 100 percent forequality and gay marriage.”
He had similar feelings about including men who were older or slightly overweight. When Harrison was asked if he’d ever include an older or chubby bachelor, he replied, “No. You know why? Because that’s not attractive, and television is a very visual medium, and I know that sounds horrible to say, but I know that at 42, in the eyes of television, I’m old and unattractive.”
‘The Bachelor’ is just trying to entertain
Most recently, Harrison reiterated his stance on the issue during another interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I always say The Bachelor doesn’t create and drive social issues. We’re a microcosm of what’s happening in the world,” he said.
“I’m not going to say we’re changing the world — it’s anentertainment show, so let’s stay in our lane a little bit. But I am proud ofthe fact that we aren’t afraid of these social issues and are pushing theseissues a little bit, and hopefully we do our part in raising the level ofdebate.”
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