Earlier this year, a rather public controversy broke out about a potential double standard existing in the Bachelor franchise when it comes to Dancing with the Stars participation. Former Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe announced that her candidacy for the ballroom competition was nixed by show creator Mike Fleiss over supposed fears that his contestants would be yearning more for fame than the experience of being on the show and finding love.
Now, it appears as though JoJo Fletcher had a similar experience. Speaking to Refinery29, the most-recent star of the show made it clear that she, too was interested and considered for Dancing with the Stars after her season, but there were “contractual things” that got in the way:
“I know what’s going on there … I will say, I hope that now that it’s come to light that the Bachelorettes haven’t really had the opportunity [to appear on DWTS as of late].”
Fletcher suggests some of the various reasons supposedly as to why she couldn’t do it, including a concern that her relationship (she is engaged to Jordan Rodgers) would face trouble as a result. Yet, the men on the show are not be turned away because of this.
If there was a legitimate argument to be made as to why more Bachelors like Chris Soules, Sean Lowe, and now Nick Viall are being chosen than Bachelorettes, it would be that there is only one week between the end of their season and the start of the spring season for Dancing with the Stars. Meanwhile, there is a good month and a half at least between the end of The Bachelorette and the fall season of the ballroom competition, as it is currently scheduled. There would be an argument that recency bias is coming into play, and the women simply aren’t as relevant as the men. It’s also to be noted that to date, The Bachelor receives higher overall ratings than The Bachelorette.
Here is where this argument falls apart. For both Fletcher and Bristowe, it appears that it was Fleiss and the Bachelor arm of things who nixed the idea of the appearance, and not the producers for Dancing with the Stars. As a result of this, it’s hard to justify the omission as anything other than gender bias. While Trista Sutter did do the first season of the show, it was more than a decade ago, and you have to look more at recent history than something that happened in an age before Twitter and Instagram dominated social media.
Speaking of social media, it’s hard for Fleiss to make a case for wanting his contestants to not come on the show seeking fame when some of them can collect more than 200,000 Instagram followers in a couple of months and then use that space to sell products for easy money. It feels like doing Dancing with the Stars is at least something that offers up media exposure and don’t feel as obvious.
What do you think about Fletcher’s comments, and the stance by the producers of The Bachelor on the subject? Share below. (Photo: ABC.)