Matt James to Make History as First Black Male on The Bachelor

  • AUTHOR: isbah
  • POSTED ON: June 13, 2020

Popular ABC show, The Bachelor, has decided to include Matt James in the show to make history. The 28-year-old star would become the first black man to be featured on the show as announced by the channel on Friday. Even though the dating show has been running for forty years now, the creators never thought of casting a black model. The sister series of the show called The Bachelorette only had one black woman, Rache Lindsay who led the show in the 2017 season.


Source: Variety

Matt James was being considered for the role of a suitor in The Bachelorette but the shooting was delayed due to the pandemic.


“When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor," ABC President Karey Burke said in a news release. "We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience. This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise.”

Source: Instagram

Tyler Cameron, who is a fan-favorite, is close friends with James and he posted on Instagram saying, “Congrats to my brother @mattjames919 on being named the Bachelor. This is all a testament of who you are as a person. Now the world gets to see the person you are and the heart you have. You can change the world. Proud of you and so excited for you.”


The Bachelor group has been called out for not being diverse enough and they said that they had plans of including more people of color in the show as more seasons make their way to our screens.


“Representation matters, and it is one of the most important ways our country can embrace its diversity and evolve,” read a statement from the group. “We will use our power as viewers and fans to hold ABC and Warner Bros. accountable and demand they use their platform in a more thoughtful, race-conscious, and socially responsible way. It’s time that ABC, (producer) Mike Fleiss, and Warner Bros. take demonstrable action to address the inequalities in casting, screen time, and employment of minority groups.”


A petition was started on to make the show more inclusive, not just with actors but also with behind the scene artists like casting managers, camera crew, and directors. The petition was signed by former Bachelor stars like Lindsay, JoJo Fletcher, Ben Higgins, Arie Luyendyk Jr., Desiree Siegfried, Tyler Cameron, Bibiana Julian, Dustin Kendrick, Olivia Caridi, Onyeka Ehie, Devin Harris, Alayah Benavidez, Mykenna Dorn, Amanda Stanton, and Ashley Spivey.

Source: Zimbio

Lindsay was questioned about the petition and the lack of diversity on the show in a recent interview with Good Morning America. She said, “I was hoping, when I came on, to be a trailblazer (and to) increase diversity in the audience that watches it and also who comes on the show and who could potentially be the lead. I felt like the franchise had my back in that. But in the last three years, there really haven’t been changes made.”


She further added, “I want producers of color. I would like for them to cast leads that are interested in dating outside of their race, aren’t just getting their experience for the first time on national TV. I need the acknowledgement of that, not putting a Band-Aid over the situation and just saying, ‘Here, we’re gonna put this here, are you happy now?’”


Updated June 13, 2020
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