The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, has selected Matt James as the centre of affection in the next cycle.
Matt James will be the first black man to star in The Bachelor: For the first time in 40 seasons, The Bachelor will be a black man.
Yes, the iconic ABC reality series, which aired as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, has selected real estate agent and former footballer Matt James as the centre of affection in the next cycle.
Each season, twenty single contestants compete for the heart of the Central Bachelor (or sometimes Bachelorette), but in nearly two decades, the series has featured only white men.
In 2017, Rachel Lindsay debuted as the first black bachelorette. The 35-year-old lawyer, who is now with her husband, says she was disappointed with the lack of diversity from her season.
“For that, I believe that when it comes to being a trailblazer, it will increase the diversity in the viewership,” Lindsay said, “but in the last three years, nothing has changed.”
But in recent weeks, as debates about racial equality have become the focus of public conversation, the renewed demand for a black undergraduate has convinced the ABC that it’s time to turn a man of colour into their star.
James was first introduced to fans during the most recent season of The Bachelorette, where he was one of the many contenders for Clare Crawley.
However, the production of that season was postponed indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus infection. But the interim called for the benefit of time for ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke to learn about James and decide he was the “right bachelor.”
In an interview with Good Morning America, James said that getting the role was an honour and eliminated any controversy over the show’s previous lack of diversity. “I don’t think it’s always the right time to do the right thing,” he said.