The Bachelor: ABC Announces First Black Male Lead

THE BACHELOR – (ABC/Craig Sjodin) MATT JAMES
THE BACHELOR – (ABC/Craig Sjodin) MATT JAMES

Bachelor Nation Finally Has Their First Black Male Lead

ABC has announced its first black Bachelor. Matt James was originally cast for the current The Bachelorette season, starring Clare Crawley, which is currently postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matt appeared on Good Morning America today to make the big announcement. The official statement from the network notes that Matt has “strong family values, a great career, and over the past few months, he has used his growing platform for good.”

Unlike most Bachelors Matt has not appeared on a prior season of The Bachelorette. Many will meet the 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder for the first time. The North Carolina native went to Wake Forest University, where he majored in economics and played wide receiver for the football team. He went on to play professional football, before moving to New York City, where he now resides. His love of food and passion for giving back led to his creation of an organization that is designed to find creative ways to engage kids from underserved communities in New York City, encouraging physical and mental wellness, while also giving them opportunities for new experiences throughout the city.

ABC chief promises to take action with regard to diversity issues

Said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment: “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. 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. 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. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.”

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, the pressure to finally cast a black lead on The Bachelor intensified. Specifically, the only black lead in the Bachelor franchise so far, Rachel Lindsay, threatened to cut ties with the franchise unless ABC cast a black man to lead the Bachelor. Notably, The Bachelor isn’t announced until fall.  Apparently, ABC wants to get ahead of the criticism of the network’s diversity issues.

Season 25 of The Bachelor is scheduled to premiere in 2021.

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Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!