The Bachelor has revealed the show’s first Black Bachelor: Matt James! The 28-year-old was announced on Good Morning America on Friday, June 12. (Rachel Lindsay made history as the first Black female lead of the ABC franchise for season 13 ofThe Bachelorette in 2017.)
James, a real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder, had been cast as a potential suitor in Clare Crawley’s forthcoming season of The Bachelorette. Clare’s season was supposed to premiere in May, but got pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said 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.
The announcement comes on the heels of fans demanding the franchise be more diverse.
“We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing on-screen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience,” Burke added. “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.”
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