Mike Johnson may not be handing out roses on Season 24 of “The Bachelor,” but the fan-favorite hopes to see other ethnicities take on the leading role in the future.
“I think of diversity more than just black and white,” Johnson told “Entertainment Tonight” after Peter Weber was announced as the next “Bachelor” on Tuesday.
“And yes, Peter has a Cuban mom, but let’s just be honest — he’s white, right? And that’s just being completely transparent,” he continued. “I think that there should be an Asian lead, an Indian lead… diversity is not just black and white. It’s not just salt and pepper.”
Johnson, 31, competed with Weber, 28, during Hannah Brown‘s season of “The Bachelorette,” which wrapped in dramatic fashion this summer. And while much of Bachelor Nation was stunned by ABC’s decision not to tap Johnson, he believes that Weber had what the network was looking for.
“I just felt that way, and I will always be honest with the way I feel, and I felt that for what they were looking for, that Peter would be a really good fit,” Johnson said.
Johnson also added that he and Weber are simply two different people.
“I do know that Peter and I are two completely different people — both good people, kind-hearted people,” Johnson explained. “But I do feel that I’m a bit more outspoken than Peter. I’m a bit louder than Peter is. I have tattoos, and the obvious, I’m black, so we are very diverse and different in that regard as well. And we like different women. I want to make sure the focus is centered around love because that’s what this show is about. So, Peter and I also are attracted to two different types of women as well.”
In response to Weber’s casting, former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay, who became the franchise’s first black lead in 2017, commented that “the system isn’t working in giving us a Bachelor who is a person of color.”
“Something has to be done. Break the rules, step outside the box, give the people what they want,” Lindsay, 34, said to the outlet.
Johnson said he agrees with Lindsay’s sentiment.
“I do agree with Rachel, that after 24 Bachelors, a black Bachelor should have been cast. But at the same time, ABC has been successful. They know what they’re doing for their audience. They know what they’re looking for. I wasn’t the guy they were looking for at the moment,” he said.
As for Johnson, his journey to find love continues.
“Demi Lovato and I went on a date,” he shared. “The woman is quite astounding and amazing, and that’s all I’ll say on that.”
Perhaps Lovato will accept Johnson’s final rose one day.
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