ABC Executive Rob Mills Speaks Out About Not Choosing Mike Johnson For ‘The Bachelor’

'Bachelorette' contestant Mike Johnson via Instagram

When Mike Johnson appeared on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, fans loved him. Alumni and fans starting rallying for Mike to become the lead for the 2020 season of The Bachelor.  Many believed Mike would be the first African American Bachelor. When pilot Peter Weber was announced as the lead over Mike, many fans did not like the news. Now, ABC executive Rob Mills is speaking out regarding the network’s decision not to cast Mike for the role.

Many felt The Bachelor was lacking diversity with casting their leads

ShowBiz Cheat Sheet revealed that Mike was indeed in talks with ABC executives in the initial search for the new Bachelor. The other men being considered, aside from Peter and Mike, were Derek Peth and Tyler Cameron. Tyler has since moved on and is dating Gigi Hadid. Disappointed fans reacted to Mike losing the lead to Peter.

Executive Rob Mills admits that he is aware there will be backlash over choosing Peter as the lead. He knows the show has not had an African American Bachelor and only one African American Bachelorette, who was Rachel Lindsay.

Rob Mills issued a statement explaining Mike Johnson not cast as the lead

Variety shared Rob’s statement about the diversity backlash the show was receiving. He said, “I think there will be backlash and you’re always going to get backlash. I frankly can’t recall a single ‘Bachelor’ or ‘Bachelorette’ choice who was universally agreed upon,” Rob continued, “The backlash is always hard. We really really care about the audience and you don’t want to disappoint anyone. It’s hard to not take it personally when people say, ‘You don’t listen to us or why did you choose this person over that?’ But you just have to have faith in the choice you made. We think Peter was the strongest option, we felt he was the guy who would give us the best 22 hours of television.”

Rob Mills continued on saying that the choice for The Bachelor or Bachelorette has never been based on diversity.

Mills said, “One of the first things that I said to Mike is, ‘You’re not here because of what you look like or because of the color of your skin. You’re here because you’d be a great bachelor. And he actually really appreciated that,” He continued,  “He said if he was going to be the bachelor simply because he was going to be the first African American bachelor, then he wouldn’t want to do it. So, it’s not that. And that was the thing with Rachel Lindsay — Rachel was someone who was just a great bachelorette, no matter what.”

Mills said,  “I think it is long overdue that we have candidates of diversity that are considered to be the lead, and I think we’ve done a much better job of making a more fully integrated cast. But I think the bachelor is going to be whoever is the right bachelor for this season.”

Mike Johnson commented on diversity on The Bachelor

Mike said, “First off, I have to give kudos to Rob [Mills] because I wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the first black Bachelor.’ I would want to be the bachelor because I’m a great individual and great human being.”

Basically, Mike feels that The Bachelor should give everyone a chance. He thinks the show should be more diverse than just black and white. He said, “Talking about people of color, they need to have an Asian Bachelor, they need to have an Indian Bachelor. They need to have other people outside of just black and white.”

He also said to Variety that he does think the network is trying. Mike said, “I think that ‘The Bachelor’ is taking strides to make sure that the casts, in all regards, are diversified and representative of America, and I think they will continue to do that.”

Who knows maybe Mike will get his chance in the future. Fans would sure love that. In the meantime check back often with TV Shows Ace for news regarding The Bachelor franchise.


Jamie Colclasure

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