If this past year has taught me anything about anything, it's that everything can be political, and politics can be everything. And this sorry tale I tell to you is probably one of the best examples of politics bleeding into pop culture and entertainment.
Take "The Bachelor" franchise, which was formed on the wholesome idea of choosing an individual to be given the opportunity to find his/her true love in a pool of good-looking men/women. As it started, the first few seasons of The Bachelor(ette) were made up of mostly clean-cut individuals and maybe a house villain, a classic rivalry, or an individual with a shady past. This kept viewers going for a while, but we can all admit that we're suckers for the promise of more: more drama, more man tears, etc. Fine, so now we've got a woman who mistakes an onion for a pomegranate and a dude who straight-up snorts protein powder like it's cocaine and threatens the physical safety of other men in the house. It's all good! Nothing the producers and crew members can't handle, right?
But when does it become too much?
The franchise took a major blow earlier this summer when the news broke of an alleged sexual assault incident concerning DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios (who, coincidentally, are both notorious for making waves during their respective seasons) during the filming of "Bachelor in Paradise." This incident shut down production of the show and shocked all of Bachelor Nation just when we thought we'd been shocked to our very core. The fate of the ordeal? It was determined that no sexual misconduct took place between Jackson and Olympios, and production resumed while Olympios opted not to return to the show and Jackson will return in hopes to clear his name.
So how does this affect ratings of the current season of "The Bachelorette"?
The show broke a color boundary this year when it announced that it would host its very first black bachelorette: Rachel Lindsay. In my opinion, Lindsay is the best bachelorette the franchise has ever seen. She truly does not play around, refusing to allow Jackson's presence back in the house when it was discovered that he was maintaining an outside relationship during his time as a contestant, eliminating contestants at the first sign of trouble (see Blake and Lucas, Lee and Kenny), making it clear that any man who chooses to manifest drama during his time in the house is not worthy of her time, and therefore keeping it 100. Regardless, Lindsay's ratings still pale in comparison to the Caucasian bachelorettes who came before her. This is allegedly due to the shortage of white viewers this season.
Maybe this is part of the reason, but it's not the only thing to blame.
For a lot of viewers, the franchise has taken a beautiful idea of aiding an individual in finding love and warped it into a sort of circus of contestants trying vainly to outdo each other in outrageous acts. However, the casting is only part of the problem. Former contestants have testified that crew members often irritate contestants to get a certain level of angry speech/action out of them. So, everything is not exactly how it seems. Nevertheless, this does not totally explain the actions of some of the cast members. A lot of these people are probably cast on purpose because they hold the promise of making the show more interesting. Unfortunately, this degree of interesting seems to have taken over.
The reason being the disappointing ratings is simple.
Bachelor Nation is tired, ladies and gentlemen.
And the Corinne and DeMario incident was the last straw.