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ABC Casts Its First Black Bachelor After 18 Years on the Air

Matt James will star in the subsequent season of ABC’s The Bachelor as the sequence’ first Black male lead.

The 28-year-old, who had beforehand been solid as a contestant on the would-be most up-to-date season of The Bachelorette earlier than it was stalled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been named season 25’s main man. ABC introduced the resolution Friday after days of renewed focus on the sequence’ lack of range in the wake of the ongoing racial reckoning sweeping the nation, together with a Change.org petition demanding the community title a Black Bachelor.

“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,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke mentioned in a press release. “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 might be the first Black Bachelor in the present’s 18-year historical past. The announcement follows criticism from Rachel Lindsay, the Bachelor franchise’s first Black lead and the solely Black Bachelorette, who led the sequence in 2017. In a weblog put up earlier this week, Lindsay condemned the Bachelor franchise’s historical past of “systemic racism” and threatened to “disassociate” from the model until adjustments have been made.

“Yes, more diverse contestants do appear on the show now, but is the lead truly interested and open to dating outside of their race? I think that is evident by how far their ‘journey’ takes them during each season,” Lindsay wrote. “It is a naive expectation to believe that leads will authentically start an interracial relationship for the first time on national television. The sad reality is that people of color become placeholders as the token person of color to add some flavor to the second half of the season.”

The Bachelor is anticipated to return from coronavirus hiatus in 2021.

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picture:Matt James is the first Black Bachelor.ABC

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