‘The Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss’ Exit Explained, Details Revealed About Racial Discrimination Investigation
Mike Fleiss announced his departure from The Bachelor earlier this week and now new details surrounding his exit have been revealed.
Variety is reporting that Fleiss, the creator of Bachelor Nation, left the franchise after there was an investigation into racial discrimination on his part.
The outlet said “a number of employees had complained to human resources about Fleiss, which led to a thorough investigation that was conducted by an outside party in the past few months… The investigation resulted in Fleiss’ departure.”
Sources told Variety that producers complained about Fleiss‘ “bullying” behavior and “his resistance to increasing diversity on the show over two decades.” He was accused of lashing out at employees who suggested casting more diverse people on the show.
One source said, “People said he would retaliate against people for having minorities and Black people on the show. He favored certain people over other people. He would say, ‘Minorities don’t get ratings.’”
Some sources who spoke to Variety said they were puzzled by the investigation because they never witnessed bullying or discrimination.
In a statement, Fleiss admitted that he could’ve done more to increase diversity on the show.
“I had no idea back in 2002 that we were building a pop culture juggernaut. It was a crazy idea then and sure as hell continues to roll — just look at every network and streamer that has ripped us off! Since its premiere 21 years ago, times have certainly changed and I’d have to say we didn’t keep up with the pace of those changes,” he said. “I am proud of the work we’ve done over the past five years to make the show substantially more diverse, but I do believe I could have done more. Hopefully, the franchise will continue to move in the right direction. Judging by the number of staff weddings we’ve hosted at our home and the number of teary messages that blew up my phone when I announced I had turned in my final rose, I’m pretty sure I had more good days than bad, lifted more spirits than hurt feelings and leave the franchise in good hands, with more friends than foe.”
Mike and his wife went viral a few years back over an upsetting story.