Bachelor Nation’s Marquel Martin calls out franchise’s silence on its diversity problem: ‘Speak up and support us like we MATTER’

The Bachelorette” alum Marquel Martin is calling out the producers’ silence amid the growing demands for the franchise to address its diversity issues.

In a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, Martin referenced an open letter he wrote in August 2014 after Chris Soules was named the star of the 19th season of “The Bachelor.” Martin and Soules competed on Andi Dorfman‘s season of “The Bachelorette,” and the former was rumored to have been in the running for “The Bachelor,” which would’ve made him the first black Bachelor. The show has yet to have a black lead, while Season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay is the sole black lead across both shows.

“It’s necessary to take action and it’s necessary to hold ourselves accountable. And that’s what I’m trying to do (peacefully and respectfully) with this post because I would be remiss if I didn’t do my part in calling out the silence of THE BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE FRANCHISE @bachelorabc @bacheloretteabc (Elan [Gale], Bennett [Graebner], I love y’all, you know what it is this way),” Martin wrote.

SEE Rachel Lindsay ‘can’t continue’ to be part of the ‘Bachelor’ franchise unless it tackles its race problem

“It saddens me to see that you guys seem to be silent on the current state of our nation and the outcry of equality from my people (African Americans)!” he continued. “I am a proud black man and as a black man who was once a cast member on your show I take offense to your silence as a franchise. Maybe some of you personally aren’t racist and support the #blacklivesmatter movement, but as a franchise I’ve yet to see it.”

Referencing his 2014 letter, the “Bachelor in Paradise” alum said that “race played a big role then, and it still does today.”

“As I said six years ago, ‘your fan base is predominantly white,’ ‘it’s a ratings/money thing,’ ‘you guys should have a black Bachelorette first,’ ‘your audience isn’t ready for a black male lead like me yet’ etc,” he wrote. “I actually remember one of you calling me after I wrote this letter saying, ‘why aren’t you writing about Ferguson’ assuming I didn’t care. Thinking back on it, all of that s**t was wrong and it needs to stop.”

View this post on Instagram

🚨Relevant @bacheloretteabc Throwback (please read – link in bio)🚨 Hi all – With recent events going on, I’ve been extremely troubled like many around the world. I have a lot to say, but I also have a lot to learn and that is why I usually try to make silent but actionable moves (s/o @movespodcast). Anyways, as I’ve been observing people, agencies, sports, influencers, and MYSELF, I wanted to share this really quick because I thought it necessary. It’s necessary to take action and it’s necessary to hold ourselves accountable. And that’s what I’m trying to do (peacefully and respectfully) with this post because I would be remiss if I didn’t do my part in calling out the silence of THE BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE FRANCHISE @bachelorabc @bacheloretteabc (Elan, Bennett, I love y’all, you know what it is this way✊🏾❤️) . And Make no mistake, I’m not doing this for fame or clout (I got a girl), but I’m doing this because I believe it’s the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I had the opportunity to be on the show. I have nothing but love for all of the producers, runners and cast members that I know (well most of you haha) but it saddens me to see that you guys seem to be silent on the current state of our nation and the outcry of equality from my people (African Americans)! I am a proud black man and as a black man who was once a cast member on your show I take offense to your silence as a franchise. Maybe some of you personally aren’t racist and support the #blacklivesmatter movement, but as a franchise I’ve yet to see it. And as I’ve said IN THE LETTER I WROTE (IN 2014!) race played a big role then, and it still does today. As Ive said 6 years ago ; “your fan base is predominantly white”, “it’s a ratings/money thing”, “you guys should have a black bachelorette first”, “your audience isnt ready for a black male lead like me yet” etc. I actually remember one of you calling me after I wrote this letter saying “why aren’t you writing about Ferguson” assuming I didn’t care. Thinking back on it all of that shit was wrong and it needs to stop. Don’t hide behind money, speak up and support us like we MATTER, because we do!!!! We watch your show, we part

A post shared by Marquel Martin (@marquel_martin) on

Martin urged the franchise not to “hide behind money” and to “speak up and support us like we MATTER, because we do!!!!” His statement continued in his comments, where he said he’s “yet to see real change and acceptance,” and that casting Lindsay, whom he “loved,” is not enough.

“Don’t just check some boxes and think we don’t see you!” he stated. “I’ve had nothin but love for you all, even when I’ve felt wronged at times. From the racist comments being said about me and during the show, to my leaving, I’ve done all I could to be a decent human being to you all. I dare anyone on the show to say otherwise! I could say a lot more but I’m done for now, and if you ANY of you have an issue with me and my words let me know. We can talk about it.”

Martin’s post came on the same day that a fan petition launched calling for the “Bachelor” franchise to cast a black Bachelor and implement anti-racism measures going forward, including casting and hiring more BIPOC in front of and behind the camera.

The petition has been signed and shared by numerous alums. ABC and Warner Bros., which produces the franchise, have yet to comment.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby

Loading