Matt James Becomes The First Ever Black Leading Man On The Bachelor!

And with that, The Bachelor just made a little bit of history!

The popular reality TV show revealed their new Black leading man on Friday morning for its upcoming 25th season — ya know, whenever we can get past this coronavirus crap, that is. So, HEEEEY Matt James!

The announcement was made just a few hours ago on Good Morning America, and already many people are talking up the pick as a welcome nod at bringing more diversity into what’s otherwise been a very homogeneous group of leading men. In a statement about the 28-year-old James and the show’s upcoming season, ABC shared (below):

“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.”


James himself spoke further about the big announcement, referencing the first black Bachelorette in history — Rachel Lindsay — as a source of inspiration and a pioneer who primed the pump for this moment:

“When Rachel speaks, we listen. She has a very important voice in all this, being the first black woman, person of color to be a lead, and … this is hopefully the first of many black men to be in the position I’m at now. It’s an honor. I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me, and hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday night… they see that diverse love stories are beautiful.”

Awww! Well said!

Here’s more on that from the national morning show itself:

Love to see it!!!

Even though Matt has never appeared on any Bachelor Nation shows before, he had been cast on Clare Crawley‘s upcoming season of The Bachelorette. With the coronavirus shutdown on filming, then, producers jumped the gun and elevated James to his own leading role despite the fact that he’s never made an appearance on the franchise before. It’s been over a decade since that last happened, but good! Get some new blood in there!

James is a Raleigh, North Carolina native, and he has long been best friends with one-time series hunk Tyler Cameron, who was runner-up on Hannah Brown‘s recent season of The Bachelorette. As you might recall, too, James quarantined for much of the early coronavirus period with both Tyler and Hannah, becoming known to many fans via the group’s frequent social media postings.

Like Cameron, James is also a former football player; he starred at Wake Forest University before spending preseason time with both the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, though he was cut by both teams and decided to move on from the sport. And, along with Cameron, James was the other co-founder of the ABC Food Tours brand. Love it!!!

It’s interesting, though… James got in a little public spat with Crawley not long ago, while both were awaiting the resumption of filming for her upcoming season on The Bachelorette. Could that bad blood have pushed him off onto The Bachelor, if for no other reason than to keep him and Clare separated?! Makes you wonder! Especially when Mike Johnson was out there and available as a potential future leading man, too… just saying!!!

Anyways, it’s about damn time the world has a Black Bachelor, so, here we go!!! The series is still planning on shooting and airing Crawley’s upcoming season, too, so word has it we won’t see James’ love trials until some time next year. We can’t wait!!!

What do U think about the selection here, Perezcious readers?! Surprised, or could you see the writing on the wall?? Sound OFF with your take on the whole thing down in the comments (below)!!!

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