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The Bachelor Names Its First Black Executive Producer in the History of the Franchise

·2 min read

The Bachelor has named its first Black executive producer in franchise history.

Jodi Baskerville, who has worked as a producer on the franchise for just under a decade, has been bumped up to the role of EP, PEOPLE confirms.

She'll begin in her new position with season 18 of The Bachelorette, starring Michelle Young, which will air this fall.

Both Young and current Bachelorette Katie Thurston were contestants on Matt James' season of The Bachelor. Young is the third woman of color to take the lead, following Rachel Lindsay and Tayshia Adams.

Adams is now co-hosting Thurston's season of The Bachelorette alongside fellow former lead Kaitlyn Bristowe. Earlier this week, PEOPLE confirmed that the two women will return to co-host for Young's season.

RELATED: Katie Thurston Reveals the Bachelorette Advice She Gave Michelle Young: 'Just Be Open'

Michelle Young and Katie Thurston
Michelle Young and Katie Thurston

ABC Michelle Young and Katie Thurston

RELATED: Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe Returning as Co-Hosts of The Bachelorette for Michelle Young's Season

The pair announced in March that they would be stepping in after Chris Harrison took time away from the franchise in February.

Shortly after Harrison, 49, stepped down from his longtime hosting role, Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment told PEOPLE in a statement that the franchise would be working toward greater diversity among its crew.

"As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks," the statement read. "These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world."

RELATED VIDEO: Chris Harrison Officially Exits Bachelor Franchise

Harrison stepped away from Bachelor Nation in February after defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions. She since issued an apology and asked those defending her actions to "please stop."

Harrison also apologized for his remarks. He officially exited the franchise in June.

Young's season of The Bachelorette premieres Tuesday, Oct. 19 on ABC.

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