WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- After 18 years and 25 seasons, ‘The Bachelor’ has a black person for the lead for the first time— Matt James.
- This came after calls for cultural diversity on the show and Black Lives Matter movement are raging across the world.
- James is best pals with Bachelorette fan favorites Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown and was set to be a contestant on the show but ended up as the Bachelor himself.
On its 25th season and its 18th year, what could be The Bachelor’s landmark and certainly a welcome move— A Black bachelor!
Matt James, 28, of Raleigh, North Carolina, will go down in ‘The Bachelor’s’ history as the first black man ever to play the lead role. Fans of the bachelor franchise who have been following the Bachelor nation might remember James as the best friend of former Bachelorette fan-favorite Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown in 2019.
All three have quarantined together during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bachelor’s move came amidst the worldwide Black Lives Matter Movement, the coronavirus pandemic, and answers the criticism of the show’s lack of cultural diversity. In its 18-year history, only two non-white men became the Bachelor— Venezuelan Paolo Galavis in Season 18, and half-Cuban Peter Weber in Season 24.
The latest season had the most diverse population with a third of the women coming from different colors.
With the announcement on Good Morning America, James will no longer be a contestant for the upcoming season of the Bachelorette but lead the Bachelor instead.
Resumption of the filming of the Bachelorette is still on hold with the pandemic restrictions.
Rachel Lindsay was the first black woman to lead the Bachelorette in 2017 for Season 13. This season paved the way for a more diverse group of contestants and for producers working behind the scenes. But she said the diversity was only for the Season 13 duration and went back to the old ways after.
With the call against racial discrimination after the George Floyd case, the Black Lives Matter movement has also been gaining ground. Lindsay, who currently co-host’s The Bachelor Happy Hour, threatened to cut ties with the Bachelor franchise “unless strides were made towards inclusion and released a statement acknowledging “systemic racism.”