The Bachelor star’s bombshell claim about show
Bachelor star Areeba Emmanuel has spoken out about racism on the show this year following several concerning observations from viewers.
Speaking to news.com.au today, the 25-year-old said while she wasn't overtly discriminated against for the colour of her skin by contestants, she felt excluded and villainised, saying: "actions speak louder than words."
It comes as viewers continue to call-out the show for racism and rally for greater representation among the cast.
Revealing there was a "huge divide" between the girls in the house, Areeba, 25, said her group was excluded and ignored by other contestants.
"From the first night - obviously after what happened between Zoe-Clare and I - it was like people were scared of me," Areeba explained of her treatment on the show, referring to the season's bizarre night one clash where Zoe-Clare claimed she was being discriminated against for the colour of her hair.
"When I had Juliette by my side, it just felt like people didn't want to be around us because it was like 'If you hang out with Juliette and Areeba you're going to get hate' … We were like 'the danger girls'."
She went on to recall nightly "family dinners" off-camera in the house that herself, Juliette, Kristina and Kaitlyn weren't included in.
"It was really funny, we didn't care. We would just stick together.
"They made their choice to be in their group, and I made my choice to be in mine. They never really treated me bad. I was treated how I expected, really. My personality is very strong and not many people like that so they just stay away because maybe they're scared."
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When asked whether she thought racism played a part, she said: "Actions speak louder than words. It doesn't always have to be said, and it wasn't said … There was no 'I don't like you because of the colour of your hair or the colour of your skin.' They're not trying to be … but they really stayed away from me after that first night."
She went on to say she was confused by how viewers and contestants reacted to her on the show compared with some of the other women - particularly Roxi, who is white.
Areeba admitted she was furious when her bestie Juliette slipped Locky a secret note after they approached him in a group along with Kristina.
The two women eventually made up, but Areeba said she was shocked by the response to the brief argument.
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"It's funny," she said, recalling the "letter situation."
"I remember that night I received a lot of hate for that.
"There was a lot of 'How can you treat people like this'. I got so much hate about something that I was upset about. But I didn't see anything about some of the other girls in the last three episodes, after what they were saying and doing."
The past two weeks of Bachelor episodes have seen contestant Roxi explode at fellow contestants for kissing Locky.
Last night, she stormed off into the house muttering that Bella can "go f**k herself" for cosying up to the Survivor star in front of the other girls.
In another fiery outburst, she called Kaitlyn "Gold Coast f**king trash".
"Ya fake hair! Ya fake lashes! Ya fake tits! Whatever. F**k off!," she yelled.
"To me, she's Surfers Paradise rolled up into a f**king roll up. If you literally lit her on fire her whole body would burn because it's plastic," she added later.
"It was worse than what I've ever said to anybody," Areeba said of the moment.
"I did one thing and I got so much hate for it, but for three episodes, this one person is doing all these other things and no one says anything. But then everybody picks on me? Why? I want to know why."
In episode one, Areeba was accused of discrimination and bullying by Zoe-Clare, who had earlier mocked Areeba's name behind her back, calling her "abracadabra".
Speaking about the incident, Areeba said: "I felt for (Zoe) that night, I didn't know she had been bullied because of her hair and that's really sad. But, you know, saying that to someone like me … that's an everyday thing for a lot of us. I haven't experienced a lot of bullying or racism in my life, but others have.
"There are so many girls dealing with things like this about their appearance every day of their life," she continued.
"I want to be an example for them, and say it doesn't matter what the colour of your hair, the colour of your skin is. Know who you are, be out there, do you and forget about what people have to say."
Despite the tensions between contestants during her time on the show, Areeba is immensely proud of herself for bringing diversity to the cast this year.
But she was quick to add that there's a long way to go.
"Being the first Pakistani girl on the show was an honour for me. That was huge for me, and huge for people watching. I want to be an inspiration to them, because to be part of that representation is really important.
"But there's always more work to do. There are so many brown girls that are ready for it. It would be so good to see that next year. Get more Spanish girls, more black girls, more brown girls. We need to see more diversity, not just the same as what we see every year."
Former Bachelor in Paradise star Niranga Amarasinghe has similarly spoken out about representation on franchise.
While his season aired, Niranga shared an image to Instagram of a final rose ceremony, pointing out the clear lack of BIPOC contestants within the group.
He wrote: "People say one picture speaks a thousand words. This picture speaks an infinity … #bachelorinparadise #love #bachelor #bachelorette #diversity #fiji #forever".
Following his time on the show, Niranga also accused a fellow contestant of making racially insensitive comments on set.
He said a cast member allegedly "told several people they wouldn't take him back to the parents" because of where he's from, as well as joking that they couldn't pronounce his name.
Without naming anyone, he said the person in question had made the comments behind his back.
The Bachelor continues tonight at 7.30 on Channel 10.
Originally published as Bach star's bombshell claim about show
Sorry am i having a stroke is Zoe-Clare saying that the only brown girl on the show persecuted her because she has red hair??????#TheBachelorAU— Rose Callaghan (@operation_rosie) August 12, 2020