The 1st black Bachelor in the show’s history!! Matt James is the first black Bachelor. The big announcement was made on Friday’s Good Morning America and on social media. It will be the first time in the ABC show’s history — now going into Season 25 — to have a male black lead.
It’s official…your next Bachelor is
Rachel Lindsay, who was the first black Bachelorette in 2017, appeared on GMAand said she had hoped to be a “trailblazer” and that more diversity would follow, but it didn’t happen. She has been the sole black lead in 40 seasons of both shows.Good Morning America✔@GMA
Lindsay wasn’t alone in calling for diversity on the show. More than 85,000 fans signed a petition — created four days ago amid the national protests demanding racial equality — calling for “anti-racism in the Bachelor franchise.” The petition calls the lack of diversity “unacceptable,” saying it should “reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country — both in front of and behind the camera.”
Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement to GMA, “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. 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.”
So now he won’t be on Crawley’s season, Rob Mills, who oversees reality series for ABC, said.
“He would have been on Clare’s season if it started in March,” Mills told Variety. “When we realized the shutdown was going to extend through the summer, we started thinking about how we were going to choose our Bachelor. Matt was somebody who was on our radar and we were thinking about him. We were thinking do we announce him early, or do we put him on Clare’s season and then announce him later, if it doesn’t work out with Clare? We didn’t make a final decision until recently, but this has been talked about for quite some time.”
For his part, James said, “I don’t think it’s ever the wrong time to do the right thing … We can’t have change until you put that first foot forward — and that first foot forward for The Bachelor franchise is having a black lead. So I’m excited to take on that role.”
James called his new job “an honor.” He said he’s going to “lean in to myself and how my mom raised me.” He said, “When people invite me into their homes on Monday night, they’re going to see that I’m not much different from them — and they’ll see that diverse love stories are beautiful.”
Mills insisted that James’s casting isn’t merely for “checking off a box” with a black Bachelor. Instead, “it’s been a long time coming.”
“We could have made this announcement earlier or later,” Mills said. “Certainly no one is blind to what is happening in the world, so hopefully this announcement serves as a bit of optimism during a time that we can really use this. But I don’t want this to look like we’re patting ourselves on the back or taking a victory lap. We don’t want this, in any way, to seem like a cure-all and seem like, ‘Hey! Look what we did here!’ We know this is a few grains of sand in a very big hourglass.”
Called “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by The National Enquirer. Rob ‘Naughty But Nice’ Shuter breaks celebrity news every day on his website NaughtyGossip.com where he delivers all the dish about the stars we love in his naughty but nice signature style. You can also catch him co-hosting and breaking celebrity news on Good Day New York, The Today Show, The Talk, Wendy Williams Show, CNN, Extra and Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran.’ Previously, Rob was the Huffington Post’s only celebrity columnist and the former executive editor of OK! Magazine. Rob has also hosted his own Saturday night talk show on Mark Cuban’s channel and his own daily morning show, ‘The Gossip Table,’ on VH1! He just celebrated his one-year anniversary on Radio Rob – his subscription-based daily live podcast gossip show! Breaking some of the biggest entertainment stories, including Jamie Lynn Spears’s pregnancy news, Britney’s first post-meltdown interview, Eva Longoria’s wedding, and baby exclusives for Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Mathew McConaughey’s tots, Rob always knows where to find the best scoop. Before Rob was one of the world’s most successful entertainment reporters, he was a publicist working for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi! Now he is bringing all this experience to his new show on I HEART MEDIA in his unique cheeky way, that is always a pinch and never a punch!
The 1st black Bachelor! The 1st black Bachelor