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Likewise, The Bachelor was roundly panned by every critic.
The New York Post’s Linda Stasi gave The Bachelor minus-four stars and called it, “degrading, debasing, desperate, depressing, dull and dopey.”The general appetite for more of The Bachelor’s brand of reality TV kept the show on the air, but the public reception didn’t completely drown out the show’s critics, who through the years have charged it with racism and sexism (and several other isms, actually).
Harrison dismisses them all.“We’re just victims of our own success,” he tells me. Contestants have the power to do whatever they want.”Would Harrison consider himself a feminist? “Not to get too deep, but I was brought up by these women who if you wanted to label them, maybe they were feminists, but you know what?
“If we are sexist, we’re equal opportunity sexists,” he adds, noting the 2003 addition of The Bachelorette evened the scales, and rejecting the idea that women on the show lack agency.“In all seriousness, I think sexism has a lot to do with power, and while it seems like the ‘Bachelor’ or the ‘Bachelorette’ has all the power, they really don’t. They never asked for that or wanted it and they never got up on a soapbox and spoke about it, they just did it.“They did their work, they did their jobs, they were who they were. So maybe I am a feminist, I’ve never thought about that.”The host uses the show as an icebreaker for difficult conversations with his daughter Taylor—who he also dreams of taking over his duties as host one day.
It’s why The Bachelor's been on for 15 years and is more relevant now than it’s ever been.
No matter what, that story never gets old.”You can’t argue with the numbers.
"She’s incredibly smart, she’s sweet and caring yet strong and independent, obviously wicked smart and a lawyer and very accomplished, has a lot of attributes.
"And so Rachel will, if she doesn’t end up with Nick, will be among many that are overqualified to be the Bachelorette. We would be lucky to have her, as we would with several of these women.
, a two-hour televised beauty pageant where the winner was awarded with an on-the-spot marriage to a man who was later discovered to be not-so-rich and have a record of domestic abuse.
It was a turning point in exploitative reality television.
He doesn’t meet women online, or use Tinder (owned by The Daily Beast’s parent company, IAC), and he’s never dated any women from the show, either, he claims—which seems like a bit of a waste of such a large pool of eligible ladies.
But Harrison’s singledom isn’t for want of women.“I need to quit working a little bit and maybe work on my own life a little bit,” Harrison, 44, tells me over the phone. Look, as you can tell by the book and by the show, I’m a hopeless, helpless romantic just like everybody else, so hopefully I’ll follow my own advice one day.”That book he’s referencing is The Perfect Letter, a romance novel (newly in paperback) that was inspired by a drunken conversation Harrison had with Nicholas Sparks, who also writes books about lovers who write things on paper.
There’s no question at what audience this book is aimed.“Why not give the fans, #Bachelor Nation, more of what they already crave, more of what they already love?