For the first time since its premiere in 2003, the dating reality TV show "The Bachelorette" has cast a black female lead, Rachel Lindsay (video below).
The announcement was made Feb. 13 on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" by the talk show host, who gave Lindsay a rose.
Lindsay, a Marquette University grad, works as a personal injury lawyer in Dallas.
Kimmel said the announcement was a spoiler because Lindsay is currently a contestant on "The Bachelor."
"Yes, it is, but we're a couple of weeks out from filming, " Lindsay explained. "We're ready to get this started. I’m ready to find love, find a husband. So if you know anybody out there who needs to apply, sign up, and get it started."
According to The Ringer, there have been a total of 65 non-white contestants on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," and more than half of the African-American contestants have left the shows within the first two weeks.
There was a class-action lawsuit against the producers for alleged racial discrimination in 2012, but it was eventually dismissed by the courts.
Lindsay appeared on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" Feb. 14 to share her feelings about making history:
I don’t feel added pressure. I’m honored to have this opportunity and to represent myself as an African-American woman, and I just hope that people rally behind me like they did in Nick’s ["The Bachelor"] season, the same way that I hope they will in my season. I'm just trying to find love. Even though I’m an African-American woman, it’s not different from any other bachelorette.
Variety noted the confusion on Twitter Feb. 13 -- before Kimmel aired -- when news leaked out that Lindsay was going to be "The Bachelorette," but was not sent home on that night's episode of "The Bachelor."
That's when the number of tweets about Lindsay spiked, then dropped down for a short while, and then spiked again when the 31-year-old lawyer debuted on Kimmel.
Lindsay's number of Twitter followers reportedly more than doubled on Feb. 13.