‘UnReal’ Season 2 tackles race in reality TV: ‘It shouldn’t be a big deal,’ says Constance Zimmer

“It shouldn’t be a big deal. It shouldn’t be controversial,” says Constance Zimmer about tackling the issue of race on the upcoming second season of her hit drama “UnReal.” The Lifetime series, which returns June 6, will feature an African-American suitor (played by B.J. Britt) on its its show-within-a-show “Everlasting.” That is something ABC’s “The Bachelor”/”The Bachelorette” reality TV franchise has never done in a collective 32 seasons. Watch our interview above.

“To be honest, we’re not trying to make a commentary on race in America,” Zimmer continues. “The writers and the producers felt strong that this was a story that needed to be told. We’re not commenting on it, it’s just existing, it’s the story. Just the power of the fact that everybody is talking about it is great. People should be talking about it.”

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“UnReal,” created by Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (“The Bachelor”), was just picked up for a third season by Lifetime. The decision was a no-brainer for the cable network. In addition to critical buzz and strong ratings, the show is also a powerhouse at awards shows.

Zimmer recently won Best Supporting Actress at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and “UnReal” has been recognized with both a Peabody Award and an AFI honor as a Television Program of the Year. Will Emmys follow? Lifetime and A+E Studios officially jump-started this Emmy Awards season by sending the full 10-episode first season to members of the TV academy way back in January. Now, the timing of Season 2 couldn’t be more perfect, as it will air in the midst of Emmy voting.

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