Rachel Lindsay has made no secret that she's been under immense pressure as the first black Bachelorette, and a few of her suitors agree that race is playing some kind of role in this season of "The Bachelorette."
Fred Johnson, who grew up with Lindsay before appearing on the show, told TooFab at an ESPYs red carpet event that the issue of race was "inevitable" since there have been so many white Bachelors and Bachelorettes.
"I think that she handled it in the best way that she possibly could and she was prepared for it, and I think that’s going to happen," Johnson said. "There’s going to be some resistance and when it comes to change, it’s going to be very difficult for people to get used to something they haven’t been accustomed to in so long, but I think she handled it with great grace and poise. And I think it’s a great turning point for something that should continue to go forth in the future."
Lindsay made headlines in June for firing back at a racist tweet from former "Bachelor" contestant Leah Block, who tweeted that her roommate thought an episode of "The Bachelorette" was VH1's "Love and Hip Hop."
“Let me know if she wants to meet Lee,” Lindsay tweeted in response. “They sound like they would have a lot in common. #ihavetimetoday.”
"I guess race plays a factor," Lucas Yancey, a.k.a Whaboom Guy, told TooFab. "But I think her choice and who she chooses has nothing to do with race. She’s going to find someone that she loves and that she wants to be with, and there’s nothing to do with production or anything like that."
Eric Bigger, one of Lindsay's final four suitors, was more cryptic on the issue.
"I think it’s perception," he said. "I think people have perception based on what they’re seeing, but the truth will always come to light so I don’t think that really plays a role, but that’s everyone’s perception at the end of the day.”
See who Bigger, Johnson and Yancey think Lindsay will end up and which contestant was the biggest jerk in the rest of the interview below.
Who should she end up with?
Lucas Yancey: “I mean, I’m going to have to go with Peter [Kraus]. I think she is going to end up with Peter. Well, I just think that when I was on the show and talking to Peter, he seemed to be the most sincere and the most honest about his feelings for her and I just think that they would be a great match.”
Fred Johnson: “I would say Eric. I’ll give it to Eric since he’s a good guy and of course, all of the guys left are good, but Eric is one of my personal favorites from being in the house.”
Eric Bigger: “That’s a great question, you have to watch!”
What are your thoughts on Rachel now looking back?
Fred Johnson: “I think Rachel is a phenomenal woman. I think it is awesome to see how much she has grown and matured over the years and she’s handling everything with such great poise and grace that I’m glad that she’s able to experience what she is and she’s doing a great job doing it.”
Eric Bigger: “Rachel is amazing! She’s the truth. Rachel Lindsay, she’s great.”
Who is the biggest jerk in the house?
Fred Johnson: “I don’t know, maybe the Waboom Kid. He was a fun guy to be around, but some people took it the wrong way, but good guy though.”
Eric Bigger: “I don’t really think there’s no jerks. I think everybody is really themselves. I don’t see people for no jerks, I see people for who they really are. Lee’s Lee and I’ll leave it at that.”