As many irritated residents of Bachelor Nation know all too well at this point, Mike Johnson will not be the next Bachelor.
Because Mike Johnson is awesome sauce.
However, this snub does at least mean that the former Bachelorette suitor — with whom fans fell in love back when he wooed Hannah Brown — is free to speak his mind on the franchise.
And that’s exactly what Johnson has done in a new interview with Variety.
“You can win the popular vote, but lose the electoral college vote,” Johnson told the publication on Monday, making a relevant political comparison.
“The people in charge didn’t want me for whatever reason.”
Earlier this summer, Rachel Lindsay (the first-ever Black Bachelorette) made similar comments about why he wasn’t selected as The Bachelor.
She seemed miffed at that time as well.
“I was extremely vocal about Mike Johnson and how he checked all the boxes and it doesn’t make sense why he is not the lead,” Lindsay said, referring to producers choosing Peter Weber over Mike.
“And it even seemed as if the audience wanted him. The audience was not into Peter,” she added.
Lindsay added in June that “I was told there was a reason” for executives passing Johnson over… although said reason was never articulated to her.
Mike, of course, was also passed over in favor of Matt James for this upcoming season.
“I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I really do,” he told Variety of the second snub. “I was never given a reason, ever. I don’t know. I just know that they chose who they chose.”
Is he happy for James, though?
“I am happy that it’s Matt,” Mike said. “I thought that was pretty dope, and I texted Matt to congratulate him and called him.”
Johnson echoes public opinion that the announcement of James as the Bachelor was handled very poorly, marking yet another chapter in what he described as an “atrocious” track record when it comes to diversity.
“There have been numerous, wonderful Black and indigenous people of color that could have been cast in the lead roles, and for the franchise to not to do that, it’s just terrible,” he said.
“It should not have taken an outcry from the fans.”
Indeed, an actual petition went around online that decreed the franchise’s all-whiteness over the years.
Said Johnson to Variety:
“That was a clear sign that there is power in numbers, so I love the fans who signed petitions and things like that, but it shouldn’t have taken that.
“I hope that it’s not just the leads and contestants, but people in charge should also be diverse, as well.”
Lindsay, for her part, has also trashed the series for its failure in this area.
Would Johnson be open to being The Bachelor? Yes.
But he concludes with a message:
“If I look outside my apartment balcony right now, I see America — white, Black, Indian, Chinese, every color, not a size zero. I see people Black men that have locks in their hair.
I want The Bachelor to be a representation of America.
“It’s supposed to be about love, and love comes in all forms and colors — not just white America.”