THE BACHELOR: ABC Casts Matt James as Season 25 Lead, the Show's First Black Bachelor - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE BACHELOR: ABC Casts Matt James as Season 25 Lead, the Show’s First Black Bachelor

June 12, 2020 by  

The Bachelor Matt James

Credit: ABC

Matt James has been named the next star of THE BACHELOR. James will be the franchise’s first Black BACHELOR.

“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment in a statement. “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.”

The franchise has long been criticized for its lack of diversity, and former BACHELORETTE Rachel Lindsay (who was previously the only Black lead in the show’s combined world) spoke out last week about her frustrations with the show’s lack of inclusion.

“I don’t know how you are a part of THE BACHELOR franchise and you’re watching what’s happening in our country right now and you don’t self reflect that you’ve been part of the problem,” she told AfterBuzz TV’s Bachelor A.M. With Kelsey Meyer. “You continue to perpetuate this type of behavior when you’re putting out something that is very white-washed and doesn’t have any type of color in it and you’re not trying to be effective and change that so I think that they have to, at this point, give us a Black BACHELOR for season 25. You have to. I don’t know how you don’t.”

According to ABC, James is a “North Carolina native [who] 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.”

James season of THE BACHELOR—the show’s 25th—is set to air in 2021.

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