• The Bachelor franchise is increasing diversity in its contestants and leads.
  • Bachelor in Paradise featured its first same-sex relationship this season.
  • Host Chris Harrison talked to THR about the possibility of having an LGBTQ+ lead.

After years of leads and contestants that looked the same, acted the same, and had the same name , The Bachelor has recently gone through a bit of a resurgence. 2017 saw the franchise cast its first black Bachelorette , and the most recent season of The Bachelorette featured more open and honest talk about sex than we've ever seen on the show. The current season of Bachelor in Paradise is also making headlines for showcasing the franchise's first same-sex relationship.

The inclusion of different kinds of contestants and storylines is exciting for viewers that may not have felt represented by the show in the past, and host Chris Harrison seems excited by the diversity. Harrison recently sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter , and he said that the long-running ABC is a reflection of society.

Chris Harrison with Hannah Brown at the season 15 Bachelorette finale.
Chris Harrison with Hannah Brown at the season 15 Bachelorette finale.
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"The point of all social issues and raising the level of debate in our country is that you will see more and more of thatwhatever your cause is, youll see it represented in the workplace, on television, in politics," he said. "I always say The Bachelor doesnt create and drive social issues. Were a microcosm of whats happening in the world. Were all evolving and getting more intelligent, and our eyes are opening in a lot of ways."

However, Harrison was a bit vague when he was asked if the show would be open to having a LGBTQ+ lead: "Im not going to say were changing the worldits an entertainment show, so lets stay in our lane a little bit. But I am proud of the fact that we arent afraid of these social issues and are pushing these issues a little bit, and hopefully we do our part in raising the level of debate. And like society, our show will continue to evolve as well."

Demi Burnett and Chris Harrison at the start of Bachelor in Paradise season 6.
Demi Burnett and Chris Harrison at the start of Bachelor in Paradise season 6.
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So basically, maybe they will, and maybe they won't.

The show is also currently looking for its next lead for The Bachelor , and many fans are hoping it'll be Mike Johnson. Johnson would be the show's first black Bachelor, but Harrison says that ABC will see how Johnson does on Paradise first before making they make their decision (#PrayforMike).