Mike Johnson, a leading contender for The Bachelor and current heartthrob on Bachelor in Paradise, has no patience for a random commenter on Instagram saying that he's not interested in women of color. It's common for alums of the Bachelor franchise to receive hateful messages without feeling a need to respond. But this was one that Johnson couldn't let slide.
Johnson was arguably the contestant on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette who fans most fell in love with. He didn't make it to hometown dates, but his big personality and even bigger smile launched a viewer-led social media campaign for Johnson to become the Bachelor. When he arrived in Paradise searching for love, however, his mind was allegedly on finding a wife, not on boosting his already high Bachelor Nation approval rating. In his latest social media clap-back, however, he may have picked up even more fans.
In an Instagram post, Johnson posted a picture of him flashing that bright smile, with the caption, "I learned that smiling and laughing burns calories! Its science people!! Thanks for the laughs." He'd posted the picture after an episode aired of him showing up in Paradise and asking Caelynn Miller-Keyes out on a date. Random commenters apparently had a problem with Johnson, who is black, choosing Miller-Keyes, who is white.
One commenter wrote, "WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK TAYSHIA????", referring to Tayshia Adams, one of the few black women on season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise. Another said, "He clearly is not into women of color!?" To the latter commenter, Johnson could not stay silent. He wrote, "you dont know me so I'm not going to scold you but I do know I dont like you with this ignorant ass statement. I love women of color."
These ignorant statements display the impossible catch-22 that black contestants must navigate on the show. They are criticized when they couple up with one of the only other black people, and if they choose someone who isn't black, that doesn't sit right with everyone at home. It's something Rachel Lindsay had to deal with as the first black Bachelorette. When she decided to get engaged to Bryan Abasolo, the muck of social media surfaced to chide her because she didn't select one of the many black men cast on that season.
The good news for Johnson, Lindsay, and any other minority contestant who goes on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette looking for a significant relationship is that the detractors arguing that they should date someone who looks like them are opinions that don't matter. By simply existing as a black contestant on a reality show with the reach of The Bachelor franchise, there will inevitably be viewers who choose to voice their outdated beliefs on their social media platforms. The best way for The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise to change the altered view of reality some of these Instagram commenters share is to continue to diversify the cast to reflect what love really looks like in the real world.
Source: Mike Johnson