Report: ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Left Hit Show After Racial Discrimination Revealed in Investigation

Report: ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Left Hit Show After Racial Discrimination Revealed in Investigation

Racism ruins everything, doesn’t it?

Well, it seems the fun for The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss ended due after an investigation into racial discrimination was conducted by Warner Bros. TV, who produces the mega-franchise alongside ABC.

When it was announced a few days ago that Fleiss would be stepping away from the show he created over 20 years ago, the split seemed amicable and simply part of a life transition.

“First and foremost, congratulations are in order for Zach and Kaity. I wish them a long and happy life together,” he said. “I want to thank WBTV and ABC for 21 extraordinary years. They’ve found the perfect creative team for me to entrust The Bachelor franchise and keep this lightning in a bottle bold and moving forward. Let the journey continue.”

But as it turns out, the 58-year-old producer and writer, is leaving a trail of unsavory behavior behind him.

According to Variety, current producers on the show, as well as former production staffers complained about Fleiss’ “bullying” practices as well as his apprehension to improving the show’s diversity over the past two decades.

“People said he would retaliate against people for having minorities and Black people on the show. He favored certain people over other people,” said an individual familiar with the investigation. “He would say, ‘Minorities don’t get ratings.’”

Fleiss responded to Variety’s request for comment via email:

“I had no idea back in 2002 that we were building a pop culture juggernaut. It was a crazy idea then and sure as hell continues to roll—just look at every network and streamer that has ripped us off! Since its premiere 21 years ago, times have certainly changed and I’d have to say we didn’t keep up with the pace of those changes,” Fleiss said. “I am proud of the work we’ve done over the past five years to make the show substantially more diverse, but I do believe I could have done more. Hopefully, the franchise will continue to move in the right direction. Judging by the number of staff weddings we’ve hosted at our home and the number of teary messages that blew up my phone when I announced I had turned in my final rose, I’m pretty sure I had more good days than bad, lifted more spirits than hurt feelings and leave the franchise in good hands, with more friends than foe.”

Though he will have zero connection to the show going forward Fleiss will still be credited as the show’s creator.

Over the years The Bachelor has faced criticism for a lack of diversity. In fact, the show’s first (and still only) Black lead came in 2021, when Matt James signed up to find his true love, almost 20 years after the show first aired.

The spinoff The Bachelorette has had four Black leads since its first season aired two decades ago.

Whew, chile.