Bachelor Nation, the day has come―we’ve got ourselves a Black Bachelor, y’all!! Cue “Lift Every Voice And Sing.”
Matt James is the first Black man to be cast as the star of ABC’s popular dating show The Bachelor in its 18-year history. James is a 28-year-old real estate broker and former professional football player. He is also friends with former Bachelor contestant Tyler Cameron, who appeared on the 2019 season of The Bachelorette with Hannah Brown.
Earlier in the month, Rachel Lindsay, the first Black woman to star on The Bachelorette, stated that she would sever ties with the franchise if it continued to be dominated by White faces. “In 40 seasons of [The Bachelor and The Bachelorette], you’ve had one Black lead,” Lindsay said on AfterBuzz TV. “We are on 45 presidents. And in 45 presidents there’s been one Black president. You are almost on par to say you’re more likely to become the president of the United States than you are a Black lead in this franchise. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous.”
Soon after, a petition started circling on the Internet titled “A Campaign for Anti-Racism in the Bachelor Franchise.” It garnered more than 85,000 signatures before the announcement hit this morning.
The first season of The Bachelor premiered on ABC in March 2002. Since then, there have been 24 seasons, and not one season has had a Black bachelor despite pleas from fans of the show. Well, the time has come!
While we, of course, have been and still are rooting for Mike Johnson to one day be cast on The Bachelor, we will take this win! Nothing like a little melanin being added to the silver season!
Season 25 of The Bachelor starring James is set to air in early 2021. Needless to say, we will all be waiting with bated breath.