Take the contentious storyline between Kenny (a black wrestler and doting father) and Lee (a white songwriter with a penchant for bigotry).In what can only be described as race-baiting, Lee targeted Kenny and began to characterize him as “aggressive.” Lee provoked Kenny to anger and then shrank in seeming confusion when Kenny challenged him. When called out for his racist rhetoric, Lee attempted to explain away his racism with so-called reverse racism, insisting that Kenny was playing the proverbial “race card.” Viewers were expected to intuit his racism; egregious and obvious as it was, it was never named.
And so I was hopeful that a cast promoted as “the most diverse” in franchise history would yield a bevy of beautiful black men who would vie for the affection of a bona fide dark-skinned black girl. Get Slate Voice, the spoken edition of the magazine, made exclusively for Slate Plus members.All is forgiven and eventually forgotten so we can move past race and the franchise can return to its whitewashed status quo.franchise, depicted as disposable and unserious candidates for lasting love. Their confidence, cool poses, and camaraderie challenged cultural representations of black men as angry, violent, and sexually aggressive.Still, as early as the first episode, I began to feel skeptical. Black viewers expressed disappointment throughout the season about everything from racial “tokenism and tropes” to the implication that diversity equals black people assimilating into a mostly white world where there are no other black people.There were 11 black men in the original 31 contestants; after the first rose ceremony, there were only eight.The tensions between Kenny and Lee dominated the storyline for two weeks with an unreconciled ending.