MATT JAMES MAKES HISTORY AS THE FIRST BLACK MALE LEAD ON ‘THE BACHELOR’
Friday, Jun 12, 2020
Matt James as the new bachelor?! Yes, please!
After getting slammed for its lack of diversity and petitioned with a campaign calling for racial equality, the long-running dating show series The Bachelor has finally cast its first black male lead! Best known for his bromance with Bachelor Tyler Cameron, James will star as the leading man lookin’ for love in Season 25.
“This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him,” ABC said in an official statement.
ABC executive Rob Mills said Matt had been on their radar for some time. He was originally set to be cast as a contestant on Clare Crawley’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette, but those plans fell through due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“’When we realized the shutdown was going to extend through the summer, we started thinking about how we were going to choose our Bachelor,’ Mills noted. We were thinking do we announce him early, or do we put him on Clare’s season and then announce him later, if it doesn’t work out with Clare? We didn’t make a final decision until recently, but this has been talked about for quite some time.”
This comes after the first-ever black lead in Season 13, Rachel Lindsay, threatened to end her relationship with the franchise if they failed to meet the calls for diverse casting. A social media campaign and petition that garnered over 84,000 signatures quickly followed suit, putting the pressure on ABC to make a decision.
What do you think of The Bachelor casting their first black male lead, and do you think the series will be more diverse going forward?